40 CRPF jawans dead in Pulwama terror attack: Assault on convoy raises questions about security on Jammu-Srinagar highway
JeM militants, who carried out one of the deadliest attacks on CRPF, managed to breach the heavy security on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Around 40 personnel of the CRPF were killed and twenty five others injured in the attack on the forces in Kashmir.
Militants also fired gunshots before fleeing from the spot. Officials said that searches have been launched in the area.
A police official said that the 'explosion was massive and it completely damaged the bus which was carrying the CRPF personnel.'
Srinagar: The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants, who carried out one of the deadliest attacks on the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulwama district by ramming a vehicle laden with an improvised explosive device (IED) into a bus carrying the personnel to Kashmir, managed to breach the heavy security on the Jammu-Srinagar highway to pull off the attack.
Around 40 personnel of the CRPF were killed and twenty five others injured in the attack on the forces in Kashmir's Pulwama.
According to officials, the attack was carried out by militants at around 3.15 pm, when a convoy of at least 70 CRPF vehicles was on its way from Qazigund area of Kashmir to Srinagar. Sources said that the bus, which was rammed by a militant with the IED-fitted vehicle, was completely damaged, while some civilians also received minor injuries in the incident.
However, notwithstanding the fact that the Jammu-Srinagar highway remains heavily guarded, sources said that militants also fired gunshots before fleeing from the spot. Officials said that searches have been launched in the area.
Officials said that even as the highway remains guarded with army personnel, CRPF and the police, the militants have managed to attack the forces on the highway many times.
CRPF spokesperson Sanjay Sharma said that while many CRPF personnel were killed on the spot, several others who were injured were shifted to the army hospital.
Police officials said that the CRPF personnel had been on leave for sometime. Some of them were stranded due to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The highway has been blocked for some days due to snowfall and was partially opened for traffic to allow the stranded vehicles to move between Srinagar and Jammu.
A police official said that the “explosion was massive and it completely damaged the bus which was carrying the CRPF personnel. The injured CRPF personnel were immediately taken to the army hospital at Badami Bagh for treatment by those who were part of the convoy. ”
Sharma said that the exact death toll couldn’t be immediately ascertained, adding that the CRPF personnel had to report for duties at different camps in Srinagar.
JeM spokesperson Muhammad Hassan said in a statement to a local news agency that many vehicles of the forces were destroyed in the attack. The spokesperson identified the JeM militant who carried out the “fidayeen” attack as Aadil Ahmad alias Waqas Commando of Gundi Bagh, Pulwama.
The attack was condemned by many mainstream politicians in Srinagar. Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah posted on Twitter that the attack was "terrible news".
Former chief minister and People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said that “no words were enough” to condemn the gruesome attack. “How many more lives will be snuffed out before this madness ends?” Mehbooba asked in a tweet.
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