The Indian Army carried out a controlled explosion of a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) planted near a highway in Kashmir, as security agencies in Delhi were placed on high alert for possible terrorist attacks.
The IED was discovered on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway in the disputed region at around 5am local time. Video from the scene shows bomb disposal technicians with the Indian Army’s 29 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) disposing of the suspect device.
The incident was not reported to have caused any injuries or damage, but it’s certain to have escalated tensions in the embattled region ahead of a number of key dates, including the first anniversary of the revocation of the special status afforded to Jammu and Kashmir, which took place on August 5, 2019.
There have also been reports in the India media, citing unnamed intelligence sources, of terrorists infiltrating the country in groups of three to five with the intention of carrying out attacks in coming weeks.
A dedication ceremony for the Temple of Ram in Ayodhya, on August 5, at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone, and India’s Independence Day on Saturday August 15, are both potential target dates on which authorities will be extra vigilant.
Indian state security agencies have claimed that Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, has directed terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, to carry out attacks on these high-profile occasions. As a precaution, Kashmiri authorities have imposed a curfew in the area on August 4 and 5.
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