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Deadly, Cheap, Tested in Afghanistan: Why Use of Sticky Bombs is Increasing & Their Link to Amarnath Yatra

By: News Desk

Edited By: Majid Alam

News18.com

Last Updated: May 29, 2022, 15:04 IST

Sticky bombs were used in the bus which had caught fire after a mysterious explosion in Katra. (PTI)

Sticky bombs were used in the bus which had caught fire after a mysterious explosion in Katra. (PTI)

Terrorists have often attached sticky bombs onto a bus or vehicle when it stops at a traffic signal or for any other reasons

A Pakistani drone carrying sticky bombs was shot down in Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday after it crossed into the Indian border. The drone was part of a major terror plot aimed at the Amarnath Yatra.

However, the timely intervention of the police foiled the major terror attack. Police had received inputs that the terrorists might use sticky bombs to attack the Char Dham Yatra buses.

The bomb disposal squad, called to inspect the drone’s payload, found seven magnetic bombs and an equal number of grenades compatible with Under Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGL) attached to it.

The modus operandi was also used during the Katra bus incident earlier this month where one such bomb was suspected to have been used. Top intelligence sources had told News18 that the mysterious blast inside the vehicle was a terror attack and a sticky bomb was used for the blast on the bus heading to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine base camp.

‘New threat’

Security officials say that the threat of IED attacks have always been there. However, sticky bombs (also called magnetic bombs) which can be attached to a vehicle are a new threat this time, a report in The Indian Express said.

It can be remotely detonated or set off by timers. According to a senior J&K police officer, it is a coin-shaped magnet at the bottom of a small container that enables the attacker to attack the bomb to a metal surface, usually a vehicle.

Unlike remote control sticky bombs, these bombs have a timer of about 5-10 minutes, which gives the attacker enough time to flee.

The terrorists often attach these sticky bombs onto a vehicle when it stops at a traffic signal or for any other reason. During the Katra bus attack, the sticky bomb was attached to the fuel tank of the vehicle.

Security forces are conducting drills to guard against it and drivers of buses and other vehicles are being trained in spotting such bombs.

Tested & deployed in Afghanistan

The bomb was used during the recent war in Afghanistan where it was deployed in crowded traffic of Kabul and mounted a pressure on the US forces in the country present before August last year.

In December 2020, a “sticky bomb” attack killed Kabul’s deputy provincial governor.

As cheap as $25

Sticky bombs were made in mechanic’s workshop for militants and criminals as they settled scores. The bomb was heavily used in the country until last year, the reason being its portability and easy to make for about 25 US dollars.

Increasingly used in India

In April this year, the sticky bomb was detected at Sidhra Bypass near Jammu outskirts and a major tragedy was averted. Similarly, in August 2021, the security forces seized IED-fitted four sticky bombs from a man in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district ahead of Independence Day.

In February 2012, it was found in Samba and a similar one was used in the February 2012 attack outside Israeli embassy.

On February 13, 2012, an Israeli embassy car had exploded when a magnetic bomb stuck to it went off in a high-security area in New Delhi.

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first published:May 29, 2022, 14:38 IST
last updated:May 29, 2022, 15:04 IST