In one of the deadliest attacks in the valley since Uri in September 2016, at least 12 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday as a convoy of the paramilitary force was targeted by terrorists in Awantipora area on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
The attack happened around 3.15 pm when the convoy was moving from Jammu to Srinagar, police sources said. The toll is expected to go up, the sources said.
The convoy, comprising 70 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling, was targeted in Ladoora area on the new Expressway, CRPF Director General RP Bhatnagar told the media reporters.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) SP 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 since September 2016 when an Army camp was stormed by terrorists in Uri, killing 19 soldiers.
Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was caused by a suicide bomber, according to a local news agency.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the terror attack on CRPF convoy in Kashmir. He said that the sacrifices of the brave security personnel will not go in vain.
The Prime Minister tweeted “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”.
PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack. she tweeted “Disturbing news coming in from #awantipura. Twelve of our security personnel have been martyred and several have been injured. No words are enough to condemn the gruesome terror attack. How many more lives will be snuffed out before this madness ends?”
National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack. “Terrible news coming from the valley. A number of CRPF soldiers are reported to have been killed & injured in an IED blast. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. My prayers for the injured & condolences to the families of the bereaved,” he tweeted.