Jammu, May 4 (PTI) An underground tunnel, believed to have been used by two suicide bombers of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group to sneak into India, was detected along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The detection of the cross-border tunnel comes nearly a fortnight after security forces gunned down both the suicide bombers in a gunfight shortly after they attacked a CISF bus killing an Assistant Sub-inspector in Sunjwan area of Jammu on April 22. This was the first such structure unearthed by the BSF beneath the International Border in the past 16 months, taking the overall number to 11 in the past decade. Last year, the force had detected two tunnels in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district in January.
“Today, alert troops of @bsf_jammu detected a #tunnel along Samba International Border area, thwarting the nefarious designs of #Pakistan,” tweeted BSF Jammu – the official handle of BSF Jammu frontier tonight. Earlier, Deputy Inspector General of BSF (Jammu) S P S Sandhu said a small opening, believed to be a suspected tunnel, was found in a general area near fencing in Samba. “Due to darkness further search could not be carried out. Detailed search will be carried out early in the morning at first light,” Sandhu, who is the public relations officer of the force, said, sharing a few pictures of the suspected tunnel.
However, BSF sources said the tunnel was detected by the troops during the ongoing anti-tunnelling drive in the border outpost area of Chak Faquira around 5.30 pm. “A newly dug tunnel at a distance of 150 metres from the IB and 50 metres from the border fence was detected opposite Pakistani post Chaman Khurd (Fiaz) which is 900 metres from the Indian side,” an official said, asking not to be named.
He said the opening of the tunnel is about 300 metres from the border outpost Chak Faquira and 700 metres from the last Indian village. BSF has launched a massive drive to detect any tunnel all along the International Border (IB) following the April 22 encounter in Sunjwan area of Jammu when two heavily-armed JeM terrorists, wearing suicide vests, were eliminated in an encounter after they attacked a bus carrying Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel.
The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of three conspirators including a truck driver and his helper who transported the Pashtu-speaking terrorists from Sapwal border in Samba district to Jammu in the middle of the night the previous day. The officials said the suicide bombers are believed to have sneaked from Pakistan, using the tunnel as the border fence was found intact during the stepped up anti-infiltration operations.
BSF is manning about 192 km of IB and Line of Control (LoC) alongside the Army and is keeping a tight vigil to scuttle any attempt of infiltration of terrorists, smuggling of weapons and narcotics and drone activity from across the border.