SRINAGAR: Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed raised its evil head yet again in the Valley with a dastardly attack on a convoy ferrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel from Jammu to Srinagar. The attack took place in the Lethpora area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Thursday afternoon. The attacker deployed an SUV that was loaded with nearly 300 kg of explosives.
The impact of the explosion destroyed the CRPF bus killing scores on the spot, 22 km south of Srinagar. The convoy consisted of 78 vehicles that were ferrying 2,547 CRPF personnel.
Security forces comprising of local police, CRPF and army personnel rushed to the spot after the attack. The remains of the victims were splattered all over the highway. Some remains of the deceased personnel were recovered from a residential area a few kilometres away from the spot. The personnel injured in the attack were rushed to hospitals in Srinagar. “Some of the injured CRPF men succumbed to injuries in different hospitals,” sources said.
Shortly after the attack, militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to the claim, the attacker identified as Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando was a resident of Gandhibagh, Kakapora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The suicide bombing is seen as a major security lapse as Road Opening Parties (ROPs) of CRPF and army sensitise the highway before the convoy movement. “As part of SOP, the ROPs sensitise the area before the movement of security forces convoys. The police and security agencies will be investigating whether there was a security lapse on part of the ROPs, who failed to prevent car-borne militant from attacking the convoy,” a police official said.
IGP Kashmir said the police and other security agencies are probing the blast. “The nature of the explosion, how it happened and what led to the explosion is being investigated,” he said.
Security forces were conducting house- to-house searches to track down militants, who may have facilitated the attack.
The remains of the victims were splattered all over the highway. Some remains of the deceased personnel were recovered from a residential area a few kilometres away from the spot. The personnel injured in the attack were rushed to hospitals in Srinagar. Some of them later succumbed to their injuries.