SRINAGAR: Eight CRPF men were killed and 20 others were injured on Saturday as their convoy was ambushed by militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit. The attack was one of the deadliest on security forces in the recent past. Both the militants involved in the attack were also killed in the firing. Authorities, at this point, are unable to ascertain if there were more militants involved in the attack.
The CRPF convoy was ambushed on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Pampore area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. According to police, around 4:35 pm, militants armed with sophisticated weapons rained bullets on a 161 bn CRPF vehicle, some 13 km away from Srinagar. The vehicle was part of a convoy returning to Srinagar from South Kashmir after a firing practice session.
“The militants fired indiscriminately on the bus. They fired on the bus till they were engaged in a gunfight by Road Opening Party of CRPF,” sources said. “23 CRPF men were injured in the firing of which three succumbed to injuries in the army hospital,” sources added. Two AK rifles and some ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
CRPF spokesman in Srinagar Bhuvesh Kumar told Express that five of the injured jawans are critical and are undergoing surgery.
Immediately after attack, top police and CRPF officials visited the spot to take stock of situation. They inspected the bus that was attacked by the militants.
Meanwhile, Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba has claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released by the outfit.
Saturday’s attack was one of the deadliest in the Valley since the 2013 attack on an army convoy in Hyderpora area in Srinagar that killed eight army men. Earlier, on June 3, a BSF convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway was ambushed at Anantnag district killing three BSF personnel.