SRINAGAR One soldier was killed and nineteen others were injured when militants triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted in a vehicle near an Army patrol in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday, officials said.
Two civilians working in their fields were also injured due to splinters which spread far and wide, they said.
The multi-vehicle patrol of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles was moving on Arihal-Pulwama road when the IED was detonated by the militants, injuring the personnel travelling in a bullet-and-mine-proof vehicle, they said.
The Army personnel immediately swung into action and fired in air to dominate the situation and ward off any surprise attack, the officials said.
The injured soldiers were shifted to army hospital where one among them, Badal Sing (driver) succumbed to injuries while all but three other injured are reported to be in stable condition, the officials said, according to a local news agency GNS.
Two civilians, one of them namely Abdul Ahad Mir who were working in a nearby field also suffered injuries and were immediately taken to hospital.
Meanwhile, Army said that the explosion was a failed attempt, which caused minor injuries to few soldiers.
The driver of the vehicle is injured and under specialist care. Other soldiers, brought to the hospital with minor bruises and concussion/contusion for investigations are stable, said a defence spokesman.
The damage was minimised due to swift action of the driver. Operation is underway. Further updates will be shared later, he added.
A police spokesman said that as per the reports received, in Arihal area of Pulwama, one mobile patrol vehicle of Army moving through the area suffered damages due to an explosion.
Six Army Jawans have sustained injuries in the incident and are stated to be stable, the spokesman said.
Moreover, he said two civilians also sustained injuries due to the explosion. They were evacuated to hospital by the jawans and are undergoing treatment, the spokesman added.
The area has been cordoned off and a search operation is in progress, he said.
The site of the blast is 27 kms from the area where a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway was attacked by a suicide bomber on February 14 in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.
Local residents of the area said that they heard a loud sound of the blast followed by firing which triggered panic in the area.