India chases away drones in IIOJK a day after blast at airbase

Drones pose a new threat for security agencies, says senior police official

Reuters June 28, 2021


New Delhi said on Monday they had chased away two more drones from a military area in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), a day after a blast at an airbase that was suspected to have been delivered by commercially available quad-copters.

Both drones flew away after troops fired on the craft around midnight, Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, a spokesperson for the Indian military said in a statement.

"A major threat thwarted by the alertness and proactive approach of troops," he said. "The security forces are on high alert and the search operation is in progress."

Sunday's blast, blamed on freedom fighters and which left two people injured, has caused concern in security circles as it could mark the first time that drones have been used in such an attack in India.

Vijay Kumar, a senior police official in the occupied region, said the incident posed a new threat for security agencies.

"Certainly it is a big challenge but can be handled technologically," he said.

New Delhi has for decades been battling separatists in the IIOJK, which has a Muslim majority population.

While it is not clear who the drones were operated by in Sunday's attack, security officials said they were unlikely to have been launched from across the Pakistan border some 14km away.

An Indian security official said authorities suspected that quad-copters were likely used for the attack, and were trying to track their flight paths since the GPS locations might have been pre-entered.

The official said initial reports showed the devices had a crude delivery mechanism to deliver a small payload of explosives.


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