Cross-border tunnel found in J&K
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A few hours before the arrival of Union Defence Minister A K Antony to review the security situation in J&K, the Border Security Force (BSF) on Saturday morning found a tunnel in Samba district. Apparently dug up by militants, the tunnel, 3 ft in diametre, originated from near Pakistan's Nambriyal border outpost and was detected 100 metres inside the Indian territory.
Balbir Singh of Chalyari village, about 15 km from Samba town, was the first to suspect something unusual after he found on Friday night that his paddy field had caved in at many places. He immediately contacted the BSF personnel at nearby Chalyari border outpost, who, along with state police personnel, swung into action and detected the tunnel.
"We have discovered a tunnel running between Pakistan and India in Samba district," SSP (Samba) Israr Khan said.
The tunnel, which appeared to be freshly constructed, had air supply through a 2-inch pipe, he said adding "we are looking into all aspects". It was dug up nearly 25 ft below the ground.
This is the second time that such a tunnel originating from across the border has been found by security forces. About two years ago, a tunnel was found 15 metres inside the Indian territory in Khour area of Akhnoor tehsil.
"We have searched the area to find its opening on our side, but to no avail. It is also possible that they (militants) were still digging it and their plan got exposed due to the caving in of the earth after a farmer irrigated his field to sow paddy last night,'' Khan said. However, JCB machines have been pressed into service to carry out digging along the tunnel to find out its opening on the Indian side, he said.
Meanwhile, Antony arrived in the Valley on a two-day visit to review the security situation. Accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh and Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, he is likely to visit forward areas, besides interacting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and senior Army and state government officials.
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