Drone attack at Jammu air base: 2 suspects detained, IAF chief monitoring situation | What has happened so far


a man riding a skateboard up the side of a road: Jammu air force blasts

Jammu air force blasts

Two explosions rocked the high security technical area of Air Force Station Jammu on the intervening night of June 26-27. Two Indian Air Force personnel sustained minor injuries but are out of danger.

As per an initial assessment report done by the security establishment, low-flying drones were used to drop the two improvised explosive devices (IED). The likely targets were helicopters parked there. No equipment was damaged, according to the Indian Air Force.

So far, two suspects have been detained. Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who is in Bangladesh on an official invitation, is constantly monitoring the situation.

Here’s what has happened so far.

1) LOW INTENSITY EXPLOSIONS

“Two low intensity explosions were reported early Sunday morning in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station. One caused minor damage to the roof of a building while the other exploded in an open area. There was no damage to any equipment. Investigation is in progress along with civil agencies,” the official Twitter handle of the Indian Air Force tweeted on Sunday morning.

The first blast ripped off the roof of a building at 1:37 am while the second one was on the ground at 1:42 am. The area was cordoned off by security forces within minutes.

2) NO CASUALTIES, MINOR INJURIES

There were no casualties in the incident. Two Indian Air Force personnel suffered minor injuries. They did not require hospitalisation and are out of danger.

3) TWO SUSPECTS DETAINED, FIR REGISTERED

Two suspects have been detained in Satwari area near the Air Force station in connection with the blasts. They have been picked up for questioning.

Meanwhile, an FIR has also been registered at the Satwari Police station in Jammu under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

4) INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

Apart from the Indian Air Force’s internal assessment, a National Investigation Agency team has arrived at the air force station and has begun an extensive search at the site. All angles are being probed.

A National Security Guard team and Special Forces team have also reached the station to collect evidence.

5) INITIAL ASSESSMENT REPORT

A big hole in the roof of a building inside the Jammu Air Force Station indicates that an aerial attack using drones was part of a plot to target helicopters, an initial assessment report said.

The blasts took place in the technical area near the hangars suggesting that the helicopters there were the targets.

6) DRONE ATTACK

It is suspected that low-flying drones were used to drop the two improvised explosive devices (IED). This is probably the first drone attack on any defence establishment in the country. An IAF patrol team saw the ammunition being dropped, sources said.

“Use of drone with payload in both the blasts at Jammu airfield suspected to drop the explosive material. Police have registered an FIR and investigation is on,” DGP Dilbagh Singh said, adding that the drone was operated by site near the scene of the attack.

Sources said that the theory that the drone may have come from the international border seems to be unlikely as it cannot go undetected given the distance between the Air Force Station and the border. The drone seems to have been operated from within Jammu city, they said.

7) IAF CHIEF MONITORING SITUATION

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who is in Bangladesh on an official invitation, is constantly monitoring the situation.

Necessary instructions have been passed to officers on ground for probe into the incident. Western Air Commander Air Marshal VR Chaudhari is on ground, senior IAF officials said.

8) AIRPORT SECURITY REVIEW MEET

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, held an urgent meeting with officers of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Indian Air Force, National Security Guard, CRPF, Director Airport, Senior Superintendent of Police Budgam and others.

Airport security was reviewed at the meeting. The possibility of drone attacks and counter measures were discussed. On June 24, an alert that terrorists may carry out drone attacks was issued in Kashmir.

9) HIGH ALERT

Three main airports – Srinagar Airport, Srinagar Technical Airport and Awantipora air base have been put on high alert after the blasts.

Ambala and Pathankot air force stations were also put on alert in the morning.

All flight operations at Jammu Airport are normal.

10) DEFENCE MINISTER REVIEWS SITUATION

On Sunday morning, defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Vice Air Chief and Air Marshal HS Arora about the incident in Jammu. From his official handle, the Union minister tweeted that Air Marshal Vikram Singh was reaching Jammu to take stock of the situation.

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