40 killed in terror attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of J&K

40 CRPF men killed in blast in J&K
At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and an equal number suffered injuries when terrorists attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security forces with a car bomb at Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
According to initial reports, it appeared to be a suicide attack in which a Mahindra Scorpio sports utility vehicle (SUV) with about 350 kg of explosives rammed into the convoy of about 78 vehicles transporting about 2500 CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.
About 13 of the injured CRPF men were said to be in a critical condition and were rushed to the Army hospital in Srinagar, official sources said.
Officials said the exact number of those killed and injured as well as other details of the incident would take some time to ascertain. However, a senior official told a news agency that at least 40 CRPF men had died.
Reports reaching here said terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack. 
Official sources said terrorists triggered the explosion around 3.30 pm when the convoy, which had left Jammu in the early hours of today, was passing through the Goripora area on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, about 30 km short of Srinagar.
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the buses, which bore the brunt of the explosion, was completely destroyed in the massive explosion.
According to preliminary information, the explosives-laden car was driven by a local youth. But officials said they were trying to verify this and other details, including the manner in which the attack was carried out. Senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF had reached the scene and were carrying out investigations into all these aspects.
"Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is 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," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"Spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh Ji and other top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama," he added.
Rajnath Singh said the "dastardly attack" was extremely painful and disturbing.
"I bow to each and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Mr. Rajnath Singh spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, the Director General of CRPF and the Home Secretary about the attack. They have apprised him of the situation.
The Home Minister has cancelled a scheduled visit to Bihar tomorrow. The Ministry of Home Affairs is closely monitoring the situation, official sources said.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is understood to have briefed the Prime Minister about the incident.
Mr. Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, who cut short an official visit to Bhutan, will fly to Srinagar tomorrow, the sources said.
A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team with forensic experts is being sent to Srinagar to assist the Jammu and Kashmir Police in evaluation of the scene of the crime.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is likely to meet here tomorrow morning to discuss the situation.
"I’m deeply disturbed by the cowardly attack on a #CRPF convoy in J&K in which many of our brave CRPF men have been martyred and a large number wounded, some critically. My condolences to the families of our martyrs. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured," Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
Today's terror strike is said to be the one of the worst on security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and much worse than the September 18, 2016 incident in which 18 soldiers were killed when a group of four heavily armed terrorists attacked an army administrative base at Uri in Baramulla district near the Line of Control.
Ten days later, the Indian Army responded with "surgical strikes" at launch pads across the LoC to prevent Pakistani terrorists positioned there from crossing over into the country and striking at targets in Jammu & Kashmir and other places. While details were not given out, the Army said it had inflicted "significant number of casualties" on the terrorists and those who were trying to support them.
For the CRPF, it was the biggest loss of men after the April 6, 2010 attack in which 75 personnel were killed in an ambush on their vehicle by left-wing extremists in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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