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India says two drones intercepted over Kashmir military base

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Indian forces patrol an area on the outskirts of Srinagar, Kashmir, June 28, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

Indian authorities say they have chased away two more drones from a military area in the Jammu and Kashmir valley, a day after suspected explosives-laden drones were used to attack an airbase in the disputed region.

Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, a spokesman for the Indian military, said in a statement on Monday that both drones flew away after troops opened fire around midnight.

"A major threat thwarted by the alertness and proactive approach of troops."

He also said troops had launched search operations to track down the operators.

"The security forces are on high alert and the search operation is in progress."

On Sunday, Indian authorities said two drones carrying explosives were used to attack an airbase in the city of Jammu and called it the first incident of its kind in the disputed region.

Officials said two soldiers were wounded in the twin explosions, which also caused minor damage to a building on the base.

The incident, if proven to have been carried out by anti-India independece fighters, would mark a considerable shift in strategy against the New Delhi forces.

Sunday's blast has caused concern among Indian security circles.

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

"Certainty it is a big challenge but can be handled technologically."

New Delhi has for decades been battling independence fighters in the Muslim majority region.

The Kashmiri fighters have primarily used classic guerrilla tactics such as ambushes, hit-and-run attacks, remote-controlled explosions and car bombings. Dozens of drones have been deployed in Kashmir to track the movement of the fighters.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947.

The Indian-controlled part of the region, known as Jammu and Kashmir, enjoyed the status of an autonomous area until August 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government revoked the autonomy.

India accuses Pakistan of aiding militants to cross the border in Kashmir to conduct attacks. Islamabad denies that accusation.

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