Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir): In the deadliest terror attack on security forces in Kashmir, around 40 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday when their convoy was targeted in Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
The convoy comprised 78 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar.
K Vijay Kumar, Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor, told ANI that the death toll in the attack was around 40.
The convoy was targeted in Ladoora area on the new Expressway, CRPF Director General R P Bhatnagar told ANI.
A bus, in which 42 CRPF personnel were travelling, was extensively damaged in the blast which was followed by firing on the vehicle.
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The cause of the blast is being ascertained, Bhatnagar added.
“We suffered damage to the vehicle and men,” said a senior CRPF official here.
The injured have been shifted to a hospital, he added but refused to give the casualty figure.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S P Pani told reporters that it was a terror incident and an investigation is being conducted to ascertain the nature of the explosion.
This is the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir.
Earlier in September 2016, an Army camp was stormed by terrorists in Uri, killing 19 soldiers.
Prior to that 28 BSF personnel were killed in an attack on a convoy of the paramilitary force in 2004.
Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was caused by a suicide bomber, according to a local news agency.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack and asserted that the sacrifices of the brave security personnel will not go in vain.
He said he spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama.
“Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
“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,” he added in the tweet.
A host of other leaders also condemned the attack.