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Terror attack on CRPF convoy in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama: Death toll climbs to 40

The site of the attack on the CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama. Photograph:( IANS )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 14, 2019, 08.47 PM (IST)

A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus ferrying CRPF jawans on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama. The attack left 40 people dead. 

Officials said there were a total of 42 people in the bus including the driver. The attack on the bus — it was travelling in a convoy — took place at 3.15 pm near Awantipora. There had been 70 vehicles in the convoy which had been transporting 2,500 personnel from Jammu to Srinagar. 

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The attack also left dozens injured — body parts could be seen strewn around the site of the attack — and a steadily-climbing death toll. The first reports had said eight CRPF personnel had died; that figure quickly turned into 12, and then continued to climb upwards. 

The death toll makes this the worst terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in decades. Nineteen Indian soldiers had died in the attack on the army camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri in September 2016, which led to India's surgical strikes. 

Officials said the terrorist was carrying over a 100 kgs of explosive in his vehicle. He had been driving on the wrong side of the road and rammed head-on into the CRPF bus.  

The Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent to the Kashmiri news agency GNS.

The terrorist who carried out the attack was identified as Adil Ahmad Dar from Kakapora in Pulwama; pictures and video of him began to flood social media soon after the attack.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the "despicable" and "dastardly" attack, saying "the sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain". 

Modi added that he had spoken with Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the situation in Kashmir. 

He also spoke with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who, ANI reported, was overseeing the situation in Kashmir and being briefed by senior CRPF officials. 

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Singh meanwhile said that "the attack was carried out by the Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed".

He added that "a strong reply will be given and I assure the people of the country this". 

K Vijay Kumar, adviser to the government of Jammu and Kashmir, told ANI that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would join the investigation into the attack. 

Sources meanwhile said the Cabinet Committee on Security would meet at 9:15 am on Friday. 

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Mobile internet services meanwhile have been suspended in all of south Kashmir — Pulwama is one of the four districts of south Kashmir — and their speed slowed down to 2G in Srinagar district.

 

Story highlights

A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying CRPF jawans on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama.