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Srinagar

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

At least 40 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.

 
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.
 
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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.
 
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Hundreds attend slain journalist Shujaat Bukhari's funeral

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bukhari in his ancestral hometown of Kheeri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bukhari in his ancestral hometown of Kheeri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, state Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz, local journalists and other members from all sections of society attended the funeral.
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was also present in Kheeri.
 
Three motorcycle-borne militants killed Bukhari and two of his security guards as he was getting into his car in Srinagar's Press Enclave area at around 7.15 p.m. on Wednesday to reach home in time for Iftar.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
 
State police chief S.P.Vaid said that it was around 7.15 p.m., the Iftar time, that Bukhari came out of his office in Press Enclave and was getting  into his car when he was attacked by militants.
 
"Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards. Bukhari and one guard were killed and another security guard critically injured," he said.
 
The killing drew wide condemnation from politicians across India and media organisations.
 
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said: "Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family." 
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in a tweet, recited the Muslim prayer on hearing about a Muslim's death, and said: "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time."
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed it an "act of cowardice".
 
"The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," he said on his Twitter handle.
 
The Congress said it was anguished, with party President Rahul Gandhi terming Bukhari "a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace".
 
"He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu and Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed," Gandhi said in a tweet.
 
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "Anguished beyond words. Security situation in J&K has hit its nadir. Demand the Centre to take swift action to nab the killers. They can silence us but not our thoughts." 
 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday expressed shock.
 
"Saddened and shocked at the brutal killing of respected editor and senior journalist @bukharishujaat. With a few hours to go for Eid this is terrible," Banerjee tweeted.
 
Several journalist bodies condemned the killing and demanded swift action against the forces responsible for his killing. 
 
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Condemning what it called a "dastardly attack", the Editors Guild of India said that Bukhari was "a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir". 
 
"The guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure safety and security for the media in the state," it said in a statement. 
 
It added that an attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir that is going through militancy, and called upon the state and Central government to enhance security for all journalists in the state. 
 
"Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country," it added. 
 
The Press Club of India also "strongly condemned" the killing in the holy month of Ramadan and said that "forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley had silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace".
 
"Press Club of India deeply mourns the loss of Shujaat Bukhari's life and extends its condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of crisis," it said in a statement.
 
It added that the "terror attack" showed that lives of journalists were not safe.
 
"Press Club of India has time and again underlined the threat to the lives of journalists working under difficult and challenging circumstances and demanded protection for them," it said.
 
The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association and Federation of Press Club of India also expressed "deep shock and outrage at the brazen murder" of Bukhari. 
 
They said that Bukhari was a respected journalist known for his wide range of analytical writings on Kashmir and that he continued to write actively despite the death threats issued to him. 
 
"His murder can only be viewed as yet another attempt to muzzle the media and the freedom of the press in the valley," a joint statement said. 
 
Bukhari started his career as a young reporter with Kashmir Times and moved to The Hindu in the 1990s. Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir.
 
IANS
 
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Senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
 
State police chief S. P. Vaid said that it was around 7.15 p.m., the Iftar time, that Bukhari came out of his office in Press Enclave and was boarding his car when he was attacked by militants.
 
"Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards. Bukhari and one guard were killed and another security guard critically injured," he said.
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock at the killing.
 
"Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family," she said in a tweet.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed shock at the gruesome murder of this senior Kashmiri journalist. Reciting the Muslim prayer on hearing about a Muslim's death, he said: "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time."
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed shock at the incident.
 
"The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," he said on his Twitter handle.
 
The murder also sent shock waves in the media fraternity.
 
IANS
 
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16 trapped in landslide in J&K as authorities issue flood alert in state

At least 16 persons were believed trapped after a landslide buried several houses in the Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir on Monday even as the authorities issued a flood alert after incessant rains in the state since Saturday.

 
Water level in Jhelum rises in Kashmir, rescue efforts underway
At least 16 persons were believed trapped after a landslide buried several houses in the Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir today even as the authorities issued a flood alert after incessant rains in the state since Saturday.
 
The police and the army, along with the people of the area, have launched a major effort to rescue those feared trapped under the tons of mud in Laiden village of Chadoora area, official sources said.
 
The continuous rains of the past few days have raised fears of a repeat of the devastating floods that hit the state in September last year -- the worst in six decades.
 
But officials said the rain gods had relented a bit today and they were hopeful of an improvement in the situation.
 
However, the Jhelum was flowing close to the danger level in many areas and the authorities have alerted those living on its banks to be vigilant and be prepared to move to safer areas if necessary.
 
Schools have been closed for the next two days as a precautionary measure, they said.
 
In New Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it was in touch with the state government and closely monitoring the situation of increasing water levels in the Jhelum. No breach of embankment has been reported, it said.
 
'However, as a precautionary measure, to assist the state government authorities, two teams of NDRF have been deputed and another four teams kept stand-by. 
 
"The state government has been asked to indicate the assistance required by them," an official press release added.
 
Officials said they had learnt from last year's disaster and are taking several precautionary steps to prevent a repeat of that kind of tragedy. Boats, sandbags and other facilities are being made available in all the vulnerable areas.
 
In particular, a close watch is being kept on the embankments of the river, which had suffered breaches at many places last year and which were not plugged fully yet.
 
"There is no reason for panic, but we have asked the people to be alert," the officials said.
 
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed went around some parts of Srinagar to take stock of the situation.
 
Meanwhile, with the meteorological department forecasting more rains over the next few days, the civil administration has reached out to the Arm for rescue and relief efforts in Srinagar and Pulwama districts.
 
The Army is keeping a close watch on the situation and 20 columns with rescue boats and other equipment have been kept on alert.
 
An official spokesperson said the Army was assisting the civil administration in flood control measures in Baramulla since yesterday and a relief operation is under progress in South Kashmir to rescue people trapped in collapsed houses. 
 
Army engineers are also undertaking strengthening of identified weak spots on the bunds of Jhelum river near Sonwar in Srinagar. 
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the situation in the state with Mr Sayeed and assured him of full Central assistance to tackle any eventuality.
 
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A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) was held here today under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Ajit Seth to take stock of the situation and to review the arrangements made or required to be made to deal with it.
 
The meeting was attended by the Secretaries and other senior officers of the relevant departments of the Government of India. The Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir and other officers of the State Government participated through video conferencing. 
 
The Chief Secretary gave an account of the ground situation indicating that the Jhelum is flowing above the danger mark at certain places and as a result, flood alert has been issued by the State Government.
 
He said the State Government was geared up to deal with the situation and all steps had been taken to safeguard life and property from the flood waters. They have adequate sand bags and river bank reinforcement material. As a precautionary measure adequate quantities of rice, potable water and medical supplies are being stocked at various locations. There is no shortage of various types of fuel as there is a minimum stock level of all varieties of fuel for 10 days. 
 
The National Highway 1-A between Jammu and Srinagar, which is blocked due to landslides, is likely to be cleared for vehicular traffic later today.
 
Mr Seth reviewed the preparatory arrangements made to handle the flood situation and issued necessary directions to all departments of the Government of India to provide all possible assistance to tide over the crisis. 
 
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Mirwaiz Umer Farooq placed under house arrest

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Jammu and Kashmir authorities have placed senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq under house arrest here on Friday.
 
The development comes ahead of post-Friday prayers protests called by separatists against the custodial death of Rizwan Asad Pandit, a 28-year-old private school teacher, on Monday.
 
On Thursday, National Conference leaders Ali Muhammad Sagar, Nasir Sogami and others took carried out a protest march from the Nawa-e-Subha party headquarters here demanding stern action against those responsible for Pandit's death.
 
According to the police, Pandit was arrested last week in connection with a militancy related case. 
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Two gunfights underway in J&K's Sopore, Shopian

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Two gunfights were underway in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore and Shopian districts on Friday between militants and security forces, police said.
 
In Sopore, firing exchanges took place in Warpora area, the same site of an encounter on Thursday where two policemen were injured. 
 
The police said that there were no reports of any militant casualties in this gun battle so far.
 
All educational institutions in Sopore were closed and mobile Internet services suspended as a precautionary measure.
 
The second gunfight took place Shopian's Imam Sahib after security forces cordoned off the area following the information about the presence of militants.
 
On Thursday, three militants were killed while seven security men and three civilians were injured in three different gun battles in the Kashmir Valley.
 
IANS
 
 

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3 militants killed,7 security men hurt in J&K gunfights

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Three militants were killed while seven security men and three civilians were injured on Thursday in three different gun battles between security forces and militants in the Kashmir Valley, authorities said.
 
While the first gunfight erupted in Sopore town, two gun battles were reported later from Bandipora and Baramulla districts.
 
Police sources said firing exchanges between the security forces and militants have stopped in Kandi area of Baramulla district and bodies of two militants found.
 
A para commando of the army, four policemen and two civilians were injured in this gunfight. 
 
Police said one militant was killed in the exchange of fire between security forces and the militants in Mir Mohalla of Hajin area -- once considered a zone "liberated" from militant control -- in Bandipora.
 
"One militant has been killed so far. Another militant is still holed up inside a house where a 12-year-old boy is also believed to be stuck. Another civilian was safely evacuated from the house during the operation," a police officer said.
 
According to a tweet by the police, the two civilians were being held hostage by the hiding militants. While one was rescued safely with the assistance of security forces and community members, the other, reportedly a minor, was still trapped.
 
Police said security forces started a cordon and search operation in Hajin, following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there.
 
The militants who were in hiding opened fire at the security forces in Mir Mohalla, sparking off the gunfight.
 
Another gunfight started in Kandi area of Baramulla after security forces resumed on Thursday morning a search operation which was suspended due to darkness on Wednesday evening.
 
"As the search operation was resumed, militants fired at the security forces, triggering an encounter," the officer said.
 
In the third incident, two policemen - a Station House Officer (SHO) and his security guard - and a civilian were injured earlier on Thursday when militants hurled a grenade at security forces in Warpora area of Sopore town and then opened fire.
 
"Both the policemen have been shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. The operation against the militants is going on," a police officer said.
 
A civilian sustained bullet injury in his leg in the Sopore gunfight. He too was shifted to hospital and his condition was stated to be stable.
 
As a precaution, authorities suspended mobile Internet service in Sopore town.
 
IANS
 

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Militant killed, 7 security men hurt in 3 J&K gunfights

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A militant was killed while seven security men and three civilians were injured on Thursday as security forces and militants battled each other in three places in the Kashmir Valley, authorities said.
 
While the first gunfight erupted in Sopore town, two gun battles were reported later from Bandipora and Baramulla districts.
 
Police sources said firing exchanges between the security forces and militants have stopped in Kandi area of Baramulla district.
 
Sources said two militants had been killed while seven others -- a para commando of the army, four policemen and two civilians -- have been injured in this gunfight. However, the killing of two militants has still not been confirmed by officials.
 
Police said one militant was killed in the exchange of fire between security forces and the militants in Mir Mohalla of Hajin area in Bandipora.
 
"One militant has been killed so far. Another militant is still holed up inside a house where a 12-year-old boy is also believed to be stuck. Another civilian was safely evacuated from the house during the operation," a police officer said.
 
According to a tweet by the police, the two civilians were being held hostage by the hiding militants. While one was rescued safely with the assistance of security forces and community members, the other, reportedly a minor, was still trapped.
 
Police said security forces started a cordon and search operation in Hajin -- once considered a zone "liberated" from militant control -- following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there.
 
The militants who were in hiding opened fire at the security forces in Mir Mohalla, sparking off the gunfight.
 
Another gunfight started in Kandi area of Baramulla after security forces resumed on Thursday morning a search operation which was suspended due to darkness on Wednesday evening.
 
"As the search operation was resumed, militants fired at the security forces, triggering an encounter," the officer said.
 
In the third incident, two policemen -- a Station House Officer (SHO) and his security guard -- and a civilian were injured earlier on Thursday when militants hurled a grenade at security forces in Warpora area of Sopore town and then opened fire.
 
"Both the policemen have been shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. The operation against the militants is going on," a police officer said.
 
A civilian suffered a bullet injury in his leg in the Sopore gunfight. He too was shifted to hospital and his condition was stated to be stable.
 
As a precaution, authorities suspended mobile Internet service in Sopore town.
 
IANS
 

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J&K: Two policemen injured in Sopore gunfight

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Two policemen were injured on Thursday in an ongoing gunfight between security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town.
 
Police said a Station House Officer (SHO) and his security guard were injured when militants holed up in a house hurled a grenade at the security forces during a cordon and search operation in Warpora area.
 
"Both the policemen have been shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. The operation against the militants is going on," a police officer said.
 
When the security personnel were encircling the militant hideout, the militants opened fire at the security forces, triggering a gun battle.
 
As a precaution, authorities have suspended mobile Internet service in Sopore town.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Heavy firing on LoC in Jammu and Kashmir

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Heavy firing exchanges took place between Indian and Pakistani troopers on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, a defence official said on Tuesday.
 
"The Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in Rajouri's Sunderbani sector and Jammu's Akhnoor sector on Monday night," Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand told the media.
 
Firing exchanges in the Sunderbani sector started at 10.45 p.m., but stopped soon, Anand said.
 
"In Akhnoor, the Pakistan Army resorted to mortar shelling and firing of small arms which continued till Tuesday morning. Our troops retaliated effectively," the spokesman added.
 
There were no immediate reports of any casualties.
 
IANS
 

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Omar open to alliance if Cong agrees seat sharing offer

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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Vice-President of the National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah said on Sunday that his party was open to a pre-poll alliance with the Congress if the latter agreed to NC's seat sharing formula for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
 
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a party function in Anantnag district, Abdullah said: "We have received an offer from the Congress, but we are very clear about taking forward any alliance plan only if our candidates are to contest all the Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir."
 
J&K has six Lok Sabha seats, three in the Valley, two in the Jammu division and one in the Ladakh division.
 
Abdullah also criticised the Central government for not holding the state Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.
 
"It amounts to denying the people of the state their democratic right to form an elected government," he said.
 
Commenting on the launch of a new political party by former IAS officer Shah Faesal, Omar said it remains to be seen whether the new party would have something new to offer to the people.
 
He said it was pointless to expect any forward movement towards the resolution of the Kashmir problem till the Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections were over.
 
Commenting on the ban and the subsequent crackdown on the cadres of the Jamaat-e-Islami in the state, Abdullah said that he never felt the need to ban the Jamaat when he was the Chief Minister of J&K.
 
IANS
 

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Former IAS officer Shah Faesal launches J&K People's Movement

Shah Faesal (Photo: Facebook)
Shah Faesal (Photo: Facebook)
Former IAS officer Shah Faesal launched a new political party at an impressive public rally here on Sunday.
 
Scores of supporters from different parts of the Valley attended the launch of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM), whose slogan is "Hawa Badlegi" (winds of time will change).
 
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students' leader Shehla Rashid and some other prominent persons across the geographical and religious divide in the state have also joined Faesal's party.
 
The launch ceremony took place at the Gindun Park in Rajbagh area, which was festooned with banners and white flags carrying Faesal's picture.
 
Addressing the gathering mostly comprising youth, Faesal said, "I joined the civil services 10 years back. Over the years, I realised that my diagnosis as a doctor was wrong. 
 
"I believed that by providing roads, electricity and safe drinking water, we could change the lives of the people. But I have understood that as long as the youth in Kashmir live in a state of constant fear, as long as our mothers and sisters face the prospect of losing their dignity and dear ones, nothing will work here. 
 
"It is natural for many to discredit a new idea and understate a revolution, when they see one in the making. Some say we are agents of the army. I am ready to face all criticism, but our pursuit to usher in a new tomorrow will continue undeterred."
 
The former bureaucrat said Kashmiri politicians were living in a state of mental siege and slavery. "This all pervading mentality of siege has to go," he asserted.
 
Faesal also spoke of his personal resolve to remain truthful. "My entire family is here in this gathering today. My little son is listening to what I say and promise. I will do nothing to prove to my son that his father made false promises or lied to his people," he said.
 
The objectives of JKPM are "to work for an inclusive and pluralistic society with adequate political representation for under-privileged communities. 
 
"Promotion of sustainable development strategies, build a progressive, gender-sensitive political institution with traditional values and modern sensibilities. To uplift marginalised communities like the Gujjars and the Bakerwals, especially after the Kathua rape case. 
 
"To work for a transparent, clean corruption-free politics in J&K."
 
In the past, Faesal has been highly critical of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for what he calls, "subverting public institutions like the RBI, CBI and NIA, which has the potential to decimate the constitutional edifice of the country".
 
IANS
 

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Youth killed in Pulwama not a soldier: Army

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The Indian Army on Wednesday said that a youth killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district was not a soldier but a deserter.
 
Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here that recruit Showkat Ahmed Naik never took oath as a soldier.
 
"He was enrolled on January 15, 2018 in the Territorial Army. He went to the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment Centre on March 21, 2018. The individual went on three days' leave on September 14, 2018 and never returned. 
 
"He was declared a deserter on September 17," the spokesman said.
 
Earlier, police sources said that Ashiq Hussain, a 25-year-old soldier from JAKLI, was killed in Pinglena village of Pulwama district by militants.
 
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Key conspirator in Pulwama suicide attack killed

A Jaish-e-Mohammed militant who was a key conspirator behind the car bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers has been shot dead by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, officials said on Monday.

 
Two Militants Killed In Tral Encounter
A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant who was a key conspirator behind the car bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers has been shot dead by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, officials said on Monday.
 
"Mudasir Khan alias Mohammad Bhai, the key conspirator in the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama, has been eliminated along with his Pakistani accomplice Khalid," Lt Gen K. J. S. Dhillon of the city-headquartered Chinar Corps told the media.
 
Senior Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers were also present.
 
Mudasir Khan and Khalid were killed in a gunfight in Pinglish village in Tral area late on Sunday. The house where they had taken shelter was destroyed.
 
Lt Gen Dhillon said that in the last four weeks, security forces had killed 18 JeM terrorists -- 10 Pakistanis and eight locals.
 
"We have started aggressive operations to eliminate the JeM leadership in the Kashmir Valley," he said.
 
But the Corps Commander warned that terror launch pads were still intact across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan and that more militants were waiting to sneak in to the Valley.
 
CRPF Inspector General (Kashmir Sector) Zulfiqar Hassan said that the killing of Mudasir Khan and his accomplice was "very significant" as they had been involved in attacks on CRPF personnel.
 
He, however, added that the security forces' job had not been fully accomplished because some key players, including those who indoctrinated Mudasir Khan and provided explosives to him, were still at large.
 
Police said that Mudasir Khan hailed from Midoora village in Tral area. His body was identified by his family.
 
According to police, both Mudasir Khan and Khalid were affiliated to the Pakistan-based JeM and were wanted for a series of crimes including attacks on security establishments.
 
The JeM claimed responsibility for the audacious February 14 suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district which left 40 troopers dead -- the worst loss suffered by security forces on a single occasion since militancy erupted in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.
 
The killings led to a major crisis in India-Pakistan relations.
 
Raising the ceasefire violations along the LoC by the Pakistan Army, Lt Gen Dhillon said that the Pakistanis were targeting civilians.
 
"In Kamalkote (area of Uri), two days back, four civilians were injured in Pakistani shelling of civilian areas close to the LoC," he said. 
 
The winding LoC divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
 
IANS
 

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JeM commander Mudasir killed in Tral encounter

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The family of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) commander Mudasir Khan has identified his body as one of the two militants killed in Tral encounter, police said on Monday as it awaited forensic reports.
 
"One of the two slain militants has been identified as Mudasir Khan, alias Mohammad Bhai, JeM commander believed to have masterminded the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed," an officer said.
 
The two were killed in Sunday gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pinglish village in Pulwama district.
 
"The second militant also belongs to the JeM. However, his exact identity is yet to be ascertained," the officer added. "DNA tests will be carried out as the bodies have been charred."
 
It is the JeM commander's family which came forward and identified him, the police officer said.
 
The house in which the militants were hiding was completely destroyed in the operation by the security forces.
 
The army said three militants were killed. The police has so far, though, recovered only two bodies.
 
The JeM had claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Pulwama on February 14 that left 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers dead in the worst ever attack since militancy began in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.
 
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Two militants killed in gunfight in J&K's Pulwama

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Two unidentified militants were killed on Sunday in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.
 
The gunfight broke out in Pinglish village of Tral area in Pulwama as security forces, surrounding the area specific information about presence of militants there, came under fire from the hiding militants and retaliated.
 
"Two militants have been killed in this encounter. The bodies of the slain militants have been recovered. Exact identity of the slain militants is being ascertained.
 
"Firing exchanges have stopped, but searches are now going on," a police officer said.
 
Reports reaching here also said the house in which the militants were hiding was destroyed in the operation by the security forces.
 
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Four security personnel, one civilian dead in encounter with terrorists in Handwara, J&K

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At least four security personnel and a civilian were killed in an encounter between security forces and terrorists near Handwara in Jammu & Kashmir on Friday, official sources said.
 
J & K Police sources said that a joint team of the police, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other agencies launched a cordon and search operation in the Baba Gund area of Kralgund in Handwara yesterday on the basis of a credible input about the presence of terrorists there.
 
"As the searches were going on, the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately on the search party," they said.
 
In the process, two J&K police personnel, two CRPF personnel and one civilian suffered critical injuries and succumbed to them.
 
The two police personnel who died were identified as SgCt Naseer Ahmad Kholi and SgCt Ghulam Mustafa Barah and the two CRPF as Inspector Pintu and Ct Vinod. 
 
A civilian in a nearby area, identified as Waseem Ahmed Mir, also received a bullet injury and died later at the hospital, the sources said.
 
"The operation at Handwara is in progress and further details shall follow," a press release from the police said.
 
"Citizens are requested not to venture inside encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any," it added.
 
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Six IAF personnel dead as Mi-17 V5 helicopter crashes in J&K

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A Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Budgam in Jammu and Kashmir, killing all six IAF personnel on board, an official press release said.
 
The helicopter had got airborne from Srinagar airfield at 1000 hours for a routine mission and crashed at 1010 hours, it said.
 
"All six air warriors on board the helicopter suffered fatal injuries.  A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the accident," the release added.
 
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Two JeM terrorists killed in encounter in Shopian district of Jammu & Kashmir

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Two Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in an encounter with security forces in the Memander area of Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir this morning.
 
Arms and ammunition were recovered from the scene of the encounter, official sources said.
 
The sources said a joint team of the Army, the CRPF and the Special Operations Group of the J&K Police had launched a search operation in the area after receiving a tip-off about the presence of terrorists there this morning.
 
The terrorists opened fire at the security forces, leading to a gunfight, they said.
 
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Police officer killed in encounter with terrorists in Kulgam district of J&K

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A young Deputy Superintendent of Police (Operations), Aman Kumar Thakur was killed in an ongoing encounter between security forces and terrorists in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir today, official sources said.
 
Three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were also killed in the gun battle and arms and ammunition were recovered from them, they said.
 
The security forces had launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Turigam area of Kulgam after receiving a tip-off about the presence of some terrorists there.
 
The security forces had, earlier in the day, launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Turigam area of Kulgam district following information about presence of some militants there, a police official told PTI.
 
Aman Kumar was a 2011 batch officer of the Kashmir Police Service (KPS) and was heading the counter-terrorism wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police in Kulgam district for the past one and a half years.
 
A resident of Gogla district Doda, Aman Kumar is survived by his parents, his wife Sarla Devi and a six-year-old son Arya.
 
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5 security forces personnel, 1 civilian, 3 terrorists killed in Pulwama gunfight

Four Army soldiers, including a Major, a policeman, a civilian and three terrorists were killed in an ongoing encounter between terrorists and security forces in Pulwama in south Kashmir on Monday.

 
5 security forces personnel, 1 civilian, 3 terrorists killed in Pulwama encounter
Four Army soldiers, including a Major, a policeman, a civilian and three terrorists were killed in an ongoing encounter between terrorists and security forces in Pulwama in south Kashmir on Monday.
 
The four Army men killed in the exchange of fire were identified as Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, Hawaldar Sheo Ram, Sepoy Hari Singh and Sepoy Ajay Kumar.
 
The policeman who died in the encounter was identified as head constable Abdul Rashid.
 
Official sources said the identities and affiliations of the killed terrorists were being ascertained. Arms and ammunition had been recovered from the scene, they said.
 
According to the sources, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and security forces launched a cordon and search operation jointly late last night in the Pinglena area of Pulwama after receiving credible inputs about the presence of terrorists there.
 
"As the searches were going on, terrorists from inside the target house fired indiscriminately on the search party," they said.
 
In the initial burst of fire, four soldiers and one civilian sustained critical gun shot injuries. They were evacuated to hospital for medical attention, where the four soldiers and the civilian succumbed to their injuries.
 
"The fire was retaliated by the security forces leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter so far, two terrorists have been killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The identities and affiliations of the killed terrorists are being ascertained. The encounter is still in progress and the security forces are on the job," the sources said.
 
Later, the police said in an update that a third terrorist and a policeman had also been killed.
 
Police urged citizens not to venture inside the encounter area, pointing  out that it was a prohibited zone and could prove dangers due to stray explosive materials.
 
The police requested people to cooperate with them till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any.
 
Today's encounter came just four days after 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a car bomb attack on their convoy in Pulwama on February 14.
 
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Rajnath reviews security scenario in J&K at high-level meeting in Srinagar

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today visited Srinagar to take stock of the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the heinous terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama yesterday, which left about 40 men dead.
 
He laid wreath on the coffins of  martyred  soldiers at the Regional Training Centre of CRPF in Srinagar. 
 
Rajnath Singh was accompanied by Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, DG, CRPF Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and other senior officials of CRPF and JK Police.
 
Two minutes silence was observed in remembrance of the supreme sacrifice made by the brave soldiers. Later, Rajnath Singh shouldered a coffin in a symbolic gesture and bodies were taken to be handed over to their respective families.
 
The Union Home Minister also visited the Army Base hospital to inquire about the health of five injured soldiers and expressed satisfaction at their speedy recovery.
 
Later, at a high level meeting attended by the Governor, senior security and police officers, the Union Home Minister reviewed the security situation in the state. Senior CRPF officials narrated the details of the terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy. Senior police officials assured that the perpetrators of the dastardly attack would be brought to justice.
 
Rajnath Singh directed them to take all possible measures to enhance IED detection capabilities and undertake additional measures to restrict civilian traffic during troop movement.
 
Before leaving for New Delhi, Rajnath Singh addressed a press conference. He said the whole country salutes the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice. He said all state Governments have been asked to extend maximum possible assistance to their families.
 
The Union Home Minister said the country is fighting a decisive battle against terrorism unitedly and will certainly emerge victorious. He said the world stands with India and the morale of the security forces is very high.
 
He reiterated that only a miniscule numbers of misguided youth have joined hands with those across the border in their evil design to spread terrorism.
 
Rajnath Singh said these elements are enemies of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. He called for a review of personal security of those  elements who take money from Pakistan's ISI. 
 
The Union Home Minister appealed the  people to maintain communal harmony.
 
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Pulwama attack: India moves to isolate Pakistan, withdraws its MFN status

A day after 40 CRPF men were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, the Cabinet Committee on Security met on Friday and decided that India would take all diplomatic steps possible to isolate Pakistan in the international community, saying there was incontrovertible evidence of its involvement in the heinous crime.

 
40 CRPF men killed in blast in J&K
A day after 40 CRPF men were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met here today and decided that India would take all diplomatic steps possible to isolate Pakistan in the international community, saying there was incontrovertible evidence of its involvement in the heinous crime.
 
The CCS, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan in matters of trade.
 
The meeting, held at the Prime Minister's residence, was also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
 
In a rare media briefing after a CCS meeting, Jaitley said the meeting assessed and discussed the Pulwama attack "in which a large number of CRPF personnel had sacrificed their lives".
 
He said the meeting observed two minutes of silence in memory of the men who had made the supreme sacrifice and placed on the record the gratitude of the whole nation to them. The meeting also conveyed its condolences to the families of the deceased CRPF personnel.
 
He said the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) would make detailed arrangements for transporting the bodies of the slain men to their families in different parts of the country.
 
Jaitley said that, after a detailed assessment of the incident, the meeting decided that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) would initiate all possible diplomatic steps to ensure the "complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan", saying that there was incontrovertible evidence available that it had a hand in the the gruesome incident.
 
He said the MFN status to Pakistan stood withdrawn and the Ministry of Commerce would issue the necessary notification in this regard.
 
Jaitley said the MEA would also engage with the international community to ensure the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism mooted by India at the United Nation.
 
He noted that the convention was pending in the world body for more than three decades now for various reasons, including the inability of member-nations to agree on a definition of the world "terrorism".
 
Jaitley said the security forces would take all possible steps to ensure that full security is maintained in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.
 
They will also ensure that those who had committed and supported the heinous crime would be made to pay a "heavy cost".
 
He said the Home Minister would leave for Srinagar today, accompanied by senior officials of his Ministry and various agencies, for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. On his return, most probably tomorrow, the Home Minister would convene an all-party meeting to brief leaders of all political parties about the situation.
 
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About 40 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 2,500 CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.
 
Some 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 Thursday, 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.
 
The Pulwama 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.
 
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20 CRPF men killed in terror attack in Pulwama district of J&K

At least 20 CRPF personnel were killed and 40 others 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.

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At least 20 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and 40 others suffered injuries after terrorists attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security forces with a car bomb at Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir today.
 
According to initial reports, a Mahindra Scorpio vehicle with more than 200 kg of explosives rammed into the convoy.
 
About 13 of the injured CRPF men were said to be in a critical condition and were rushed to the Army hospital in Srinagar.
 
Reports reaching here said terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack. 
 
Official sources said terrorists triggered the explosion when the convoy of about 70 vehicles, carrying about 2500 security personnel, was passing through the Goripora area on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The men were moving from Jammu to Srinagar.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the buses, which bore the brunt of the explosion, was completely gutted.
 
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.
 
Home Minister 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.
 
"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.
 
Today's terror strike is said to be the worst on security personnel since September 18, 2016 when 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.
 
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