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J&K: Militants use mobiles to trigger blasts
July 03, 2007 10:56 IST
Militant groups operating in the Kashmir valley are increasingly using cell phones to trigger IED blasts while targeting vehicles of security forces and patrol parties, according to security officials.
During the past few months police have recovered a huge haul of mobile phones and SIM cards used by militant groups to carry out blasts in the valley.
"Militants operative in the area use cell phones to trigger IED blasts. In using them they get the time to flee from the place safely," said B Srinivas, Deputy Inspector General of Police (North Kashmir Range).
"A blast can be triggered from any part of the world by dialling the cell phone number attached to the IED and a specific code on the device," Srinivas told PTI.
According to a top army official, the success rate of IEDs using mobile phone devices is very high and it can be 'as accurate and deadly'.
"With the help of mobile phone devices, a militant can plant the bomb much earlier than the actual time he wants to trigger it and as there is no timer, the blast can be initiated at any moment he wants," the official said.
According to the police, the militants forge documents to obtain the SIM cards to carry out these attacks.
"On many instances, we found such SIM cards were obtained after submitting forged documents," a top police official said.
"In one such incident we found militants had forged the identity card of an army jawan and obtained the SIM on his name. They had also made a fake seal of an army officer to make the documents look authentic. That SIM card was used to trigger a powerful IED blast in Baramulla in which a senior army officer sustained injuries."
Mobile phone operators in the valley have not complied with the advisory of the security agencies to issue new SIM cards to customers only after proper verification of the documents.
"For this the ministry of telecommunication had to intervene and recently they issued a guideline for cellular operators in the state to issue new SIM cards only if the existing postpaid subscriber of the service verifies the new client," said another police official.
Earlier this year a national daily had reported that Airtel -- the first private cellular service provider company in the state -- had barred 10,000 of its mobile phone connection in the valley as the verification process of the subscribers were incomplete.
Later some of the connections were restored.
Security forces in the valley consider the use of mobile phone devices to carry out IED blasts by militants as a 'major threat' as they have recovered a large quantity of circuitry used to make such bombs.
"Such bombs not only can be deadly weapons, but also the militant can hire anybody to place the bomb at the intended place," said an army officer.