Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday prevented a major car bomb attack after they detected a vehicle carrying 40 kg of improvised explosive device in Pulwama district, NDTV reported. Last year in February, at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed after an IED was detonated in the car-borne suicide attack in Pulwama.

“A major incident of a vehicle borne IED blast is averted by the timely input and action by the Pulwama Police, CRPF and the Army,” the Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

The police said a white private car with a fake registration number tried to speed away and drive through a barricade after it was signalled to stop at a checkpoint. “One of the joint teams in the area noticed the suspected vehicle and challenged it to stop,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said. “However, the vehicle fled from the spot towards village Avengund. Subsequently, Pulwama police alongwith Army and Central Reserve Police Force launched search operations in Rajpora and adjoining villages.

The suspected vehicle, a Santro, was found in Avengund village, with a fake registration number and an IED that had not gone off. Kumar said the driver had managed to escape. The car had a number plate of a scooter registered in Kathua district, ANI reported.

The IED was destroyed by a bomb disposal squad. Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said the car was kept under watch at night. “People in nearby houses were evacuated and the vehicle was destroyed on site by the bomb disposal squad as moving it would have been a serious threat,” he added.

Addressing a press conference, Kumar said security forces received information last week that Jaish-e-Mohammed militant was planning to carry out an operation. He said that the suspect was identified as Adil, a Hizbul Mujahideen militant. “He [Adil] intended to target vehicles of security forces,” he added. “We are calling expert teams from the outside. We suspect that the vehicle was carrying 40 to 45 kg of explosives.”

Kumar also told ANI that Jaish-e-Mohammed played the main role in the case, alleging that Hizbul Mujahideen assisted them.

The National Investigation Agency is at the spot to investigate the matter, according to Hindustan Times.

In the last two months, there has been a rise in terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. At least 30 security personnel, including officers, have died. During this period, 38 terrorists have also been shot dead by security forces.

On May 6, Indian security forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo, in the Beighpora area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The police said that Naikoo was the mastermind behind the revival of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in Jammu and Kashmir.