Pampore attack: Hizb’s ‘highway squads’ targetting army convoys

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Three soldiers were killed after an army convoy was attacked by terrorists in Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Saturday.

The attack comes just a few weeks after the Hizbul Mujahideen formed a so-called 'highway squad', which was formed with the intention of attacking army convoys on the highways. Terrorists look to target a convoy on the move as it is considered to be most vulnerable at that time.

Reports said at least two more soldiers were injured in the attack that took place around 20 km from Srinagar. The group of terrorists came on a motorcycle and fired indiscriminately at the convoy.

Army convoy

Questions have been raised about the security of army convoys.

Sitting ducks:

Police and intelligence bureau officials have said that security convoys are sitting ducks during surprise attacks.

Terrorists feel that they can kill as many as possible if the attack is on a convoy. Moreover, these attacks have the surprise element, which makes the operation even more dangerous. The other aspect is that the buses that carry the soldiers are not bulletproof.
Senior officials say that question of intelligence is one aspect.

Whether there is intelligence or not, the security for such vehicles needs to be high, as army convoys and personnel are always the first targets for terrorist groups, especially in Jammu and Kashmir.

Recurring attacks

In February this year, militants attacked a security convoy at Pampore and killed two CRPF personnel. On June 3, 2016, three BSF troopers were killed by militants when their convoy was attacked at the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Bijbehara. The third attack this year was at Pampore on Saturday in which 8 CRPF personnel were killed.

Last year, on August 2, BSF personnel were killed in Udhampur. On June 24, 2013, 8 army personnel died after their convoy was attacked at Hyderpora. On July 19, 2008, 10 army personnel had died after militants blasted an army vehicle at Narbal Crossing.x

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