At least 42 CRPF troopers were killed and many injured, some of them critically, on Thursday when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden SUV into a CRPF bus on the Jammu-Srinagar Highwy in the State’s Pulawama district.
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.
The suicide bomber-driven SUV reportedly came along the CRPF bus when a 78-vehicle convoy carrying 2,547 security personnel was going from the transit camp in Jammu to Srinagar. The incident occurred at around 3.15 p.m.
The bus, according to CRPF officials, was the main target of the militants. It was destroyed while another CRPF vehicle was partly damaged.
In the latest development around 8.30 pm., an National Investigation Agency (NIA) team with forensic experts was being sent to Srinagar to assist J& K Police in Forensic evaluation of scene of crime.
The terror outfit JeM released a video clip of the suicide bomber identified as Adil Ahmad Dar. It was stated that he was shot before he carried out the terror strike in Lethpora, near Srinagar.
According to a report, there was about 200 kg of explosives, including probably RDX, packed into the SUV which left the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus, carrying 39 troopers, in a mangled heap. Many of the troopers lost limbs.
In a statement to a local news agency GNS, a caller claiming to be a spokesman of JeM said it was a ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) attack.
All the injured were shifted to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in the Badamibagh cantonment of Srinagar city. Some of them were in critical condition.
Earlier in the day, top leadership of the country and key officials condemned the terrorist attak.
In a message, President Ram Nath Kovind said: “Strongly condemn the terrorist attack in Pulwama, J&K. Thoughts and prayers with the families of martyrs and wishing an early recovery to those injured. The entire nation stands united in the fight against the forces of terror and evil.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tweeted, to describe the attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama as “despicable”. “I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs. May the injured recover quickly,” the Prime Minister said.
In a message, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “Today’s dastardly attack … is extremely painful and disturbing. I bow to each and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation,” Rajnath Singh said.