SRINAGAR: A soldier was killed and three of his colleagues were injured in a blast triggered by suspected terrorists in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday morning. The victim, havildar Deepak Kumar, was part of a road-opening party deployed by the Army’s 24 Rashtriya Rifles along the Shamsipora stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
A defence spokesperson said the team was engaged in a sanitisation exercise in the area when the explosion occurred, unleashing a spray of splinters that struck four soldiers standing in the vicinity. All four were rushed to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar’s Badamibagh, where havildar Deepak succumbed to his injuries.
IGP (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar said in Srinagar that terrorists detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in an abandoned building within the campus of a government middle school in Subhanpora that the Rashtriya Rifles unit is known to frequent. The Army had initially called it a grenade attack.
Reinforcements reached the area soon after for a cordon-and-search operation that was underway till late in the night.
IGP Vijay Kumar said Qaimoh police station was the first to receive information about a blast at the school. A preliminary investigation suggested that the blast was caused by “a rudimentary IED” with ball bearings stashed into a mix of low-intensity explosives.
“The attack seems to have been planned after observing troop movement for a long time. The IED may have been planted the night before,” the IGP said.