Srinagar: Bullets with steel core — It’s a new addition into the ammunition of militant groups especially Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that has triggered an alarm within the security establishment as it has the capability to pierce a static bullet proof bunker used during counter-insurgency operations, officials said.
The first such incident noticed had happened on the new year eve when Jaish-e-Mohammed had carried out a suicide attack on CRPF camp at Lethpora in South Kashmir when one of the five personnel of para-military force was hit by a bullet fatally despite carrying out a static bullet-proof shield provided by the Army, officials said. Five CRPF personnel were killed in the attack.
A thorough enquiry showed that the bullet from the assault AK rifle was of steel core which has the capability of piercing through the static bunkers used by security personnel during encounters with militants.
The findings showed that the bullet, which is mainly termed as Armour Piercing (AP), is built of hardened steel or tungsten carbide.
“Precautionary measures have already been taken after the findings,” said a senior official engaged in counter-insurgency in the Kashmir Valley.
Generally, the AK bullets used in the armoury have a lead core covered with mild steel which cannot penetrate a bullet proof shield but after the December 31, 2017 encounter and subsequent findings, the rules of the proxy-war changed, the officials said.
A detailed analysis of the previous suicide attacks was carried out during which ballistic analysis of the attack on district police lines of Pulwama in South Kashmir in last August showed that ‘steel core’ bullets had been used in that encounter by the miltiants. Eight forces personnel had lost their lives in the strike.
The ammunition, according to the officials, is being modified from across the border with the help of Chinese technology of encasing the bullet with hard steel core.
There have been instances when these bullets, though very small in numbers, have been recovered from hideouts mainly belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed group.
“Every ammunition round seized during recovery is scrutinized minutely to look for such bullets. In the meantime, direct exposure of security personnel using static bulletproof shield was being avoided,” another official said.