Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir say that at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama on Thursday.
According to local media reports, the CRPF men were killed after an improvised explosive device exploded at Goripora area. News agency ANI reported gunshots from the scene soon after the blast occurred.
Terrorists were suspected to have detonated the explosive device as the CRPF personnel made their way through the Srinagar-Jammu highway in a military vehicle. A report by Hindustan Times said that the IED was placed in an autorickshaw, which was parked on the national highway, which is guarded by the CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir police and the army.
News agency IANS reported that the death toll could rise as some of the injured CRPF personnel were in a serious condition.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. A tweet by Indian Express reporter Shibu Tripathi said that JeM had just released the photo of the suicide bomber, who had ‘carried out’ Thursday’s blasts.
— Shibu Tripathi (@imsktripathi) February 14, 2019
Congress leader and former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over attack. “It is a very sad news. We condemn this attack but I say it again and again that BJP Govt/ Modi regime they cannot control Kashmir. These people talk about surgical strikes, they tell to the world about it because they can’t keep it a secret. And that’s why this is happening,” he was quoted as saying.
More than 40 soldiers have been injured and 18 are said to be critical. Senior officers have reached the spot and the investigation is underway. There were 2500 personnel in the convoy.