Two low-intensity explosions were reported early Sunday morning in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station, the Indian Air Force said.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh suspected that a drone was used to drop explosive material, triggering blasts, ANI reported. However, the Indian Air Force has not yet confirmed this.
“Although the local police suspect that the drones were flown from across the border, it is yet to be established beyond doubt,” an official told The Hindu. “Drones fly low and therefore cannot be detected by any radar system...preliminary findings suggest that the target was to damage a helipad inside the station.”
Speaking to reporters, Singh said that another improvised explosive device, or IED, weighing five to six kilograms has also been recovered by the police. “This IED was received by a [terror group] Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and was to be planted at some crowded place,” Singh said. “A major terror attack has been averted with this recovery.”
Two Indian Air Force personnel suffered minor injuries in the explosions and are under observation, ANI reported.
The police have arrested two people in connection with the blasts. A suspected militant was arrested near a shopping mall under the jurisdiction of Trikuta Nagar Police station, Singh said. Unidentified officials told the newspaper that an overground worker was arrested along with the suspected militant.
A massive search operation has been launched outside the Air Force station. Meanwhile, the police have registered a first information report under sections 16 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and also under the provisions of the Explosives Act.
The police also dispatched a bomb disposal squad and a team of forensic experts to the technical area.
The Indian Air Force said that one explosion caused minor damage to the roof of a building, while the other happened in an open area.
The team of the National Investigation Agency and the Central Reserved Police Force deputy inspector general of Police arrived at the airport.
The explosions took place within a span of five minutes, reported India Today. The first blast took place at 1.37 am and the second one at 1.42 am. Security forces cordoned off the area within minutes.
In view of the blasts, the Indian Air Force stations in Pathankot, Ambala and Awantipora have been placed on high alert, according to India Today.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal HS Arora, the Ministry of Defence tweeted. It added that Air Marshal Vikram Singh was visiting Jammu to take stock of the situation.