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Drone Attack at Jammu Air Base Well-planned, Mi-17 Helicopters Were Likely Targets, Says IAF in FIR

Security personnel patrol after two low intensity explosions reported in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station on Sunday. (Image: PTI)

Security personnel patrol after two low intensity explosions reported in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station on Sunday. (Image: PTI)

Agencies are also examining if the attack on Hafiz Saeed's campus has any link to the Jammu incident.

Was the drone attack in Jammu meant as a message to India or were the Mi-17 helicopters parked in the technical area the targets? The assessment of the Indian Air force seems to be the latter. A copy of the Jammu Police FIR, accessed exclusively by News18, shows that IAF personnel believe the target were the parked choppers.

“This act has been done in the highly secured area to challenge the security and damage the national aerial assets by some anti-national elements," reads the complaint given by Junior Warrant Officer Darshan Singh to Jammu police.

Elaborating the sequence of event leading up to the blast, the FIR says that at 1:37 am on June 27, a blast occurred inside the premises of Air Force station Satwari campus. Subsequently, after about six minutes, one more blast was conducted “by the unknown drone as part of a well-planned conspiracy."

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Intelligence agencies believe that the heightened terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the drone attack in Jammu, killing of SPO in the Valley and the arrest of TRF terrorist with IED — are all part of Pakistan’s attempt to raise temperatures post Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to Jammu and Kashmir politicians at the all-party meet.

Agencies are also examining if the attack on Hafiz Saeed’s campus has any link to the Jammu incident. “It’s a matter of investigation if ISI believes India had anything to do with blast at Hafiz’s campus and if Jammu is a revenge attack," a source said.

Meanwhile, investigators are waiting for the forensic lab report to conclusively establish if RDX was used in the IEDs. Technical investigation is also being conducted to stay the internet band mobile usage pattern around Jammu airport. This, investigators said, could provide some lead specially if the drone relied on internet to transmit live pictures to the handlers.

Early Sunday, two bombs were dropped at the IAF base, injuring two Indian Air Force personnel. The explosions took place at around 1.40 am within six minutes of each other.

The first blast ripped through the roof of a single-storey building at the high security technical area of the airport manned by the IAF in Satwari area on the outskirts of the city. The second one was on the ground, officials said.

Sources told CNN-News18 that the JeM might have been behind the attack, adding that the organisation might also have received support from another entity as the attack “could not happen without the active involvement of the Pakistani Army, or ISI”.

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first published:June 28, 2021, 16:51 IST