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Pulwama attack: Over 40 CRPF jawans martyred; NSG, NIA investigators to join probe

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Srinagar, Feb 14: In a ghastly incident, over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and several others injured after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammad rammed his vehicle into the bus in which they were travelling at Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.

News agency ANI quoted Advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir K Vijay Kumar as saying that "Death toll in Pulwama attack is around 40".

Pulwama attack: Around 40 CRPF jawans martyred (Image credit - ANI/Twitter)

Some reports suggest that the death toll could cross 40, it may rise to anywhere between 42-44.

Hectic meetings were held in the national capital till late on Thursday evening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval over phone. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will rush to Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. Singh also spoke to Special DIB, IB Director and NSA Ajit Doval. As per latest reports, the Cabinet Committee on Security will meet at 9:15 AM on Friday. Singh will leave for Srinagar after attending the meeting.

Experts of the anti-terror commando force National Security Guard (NSG) and investigators of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are being sent to Jammu and Kashmir to join the probe into the terror attack in Pulwama in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed, officials said on Thursday.

Some reports had earlier suggested that the death toll could be anywhere between 25-30, but the toll just kept going up. It must be recalled that the bus into which the Fidayeen attacker rammed his Scorpio has been totally obliterated.

The attack is likely to send tensions between India and Pakistan soaring. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said the fact that Jaish owned up to carrying out the attack indicated that Pakistan may have had a hand in it. Former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel also told PTI that the 'self-proclaimed involvement of JeM in the attack raises serious questions about the role of the ISI in supporting the masterminds of this operation'. Pakistan has, however, denied any link with the attack, and lashed out at Indian media for linking Islamabad with it.

A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the bus they were travelling in. The vehicle belonged to 54 battalion of the CRPF. The IED blast reduced the bus to a mangled heap of iron and body parts could be seen strewn around the area, the agency reported.

"There were 70 vehicles in the convoy and one of the vehicles came under attack. The convoy was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar," said CRPF (Operations) IG Zulfiqar Hassan adding that the Jammu and Kashmir police have taken over the investigation into the terror attack.

Jaish bomber released a chilling video before striking at Pulwama

Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the blast and said it was a fidayeen attack carried out by a local youth. Police identified the terrorist as Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama. He joined the Jaish-Mohammed in 2018, PTI quoted officials as saying.

The terrorists did not target the security car ahead of the bus. The plan was to only target the CRPF bus.

Jaish-e-Mohammad claims responsibility

The Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The police are also looking at whether any local support was provided.

Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the blast and said it was a fidayeen attack carried out by a local youth. Police identified the terrorist as Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama. He joined the Jaish-Mohammed in 2018, PTI quoted officials as saying.

J&K: At least 17 students injured in blast at private school in Pulwama

Reports suggested that the incident occurred after alleged terrorists triggered the blast while the CRPF personnel were travelling in a vehicle through the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Pulwama attack is being described as one of the worst attack on the forces in recent times. In the Uri attack, the army has suffered the most number of deaths.

The 2016 Uri attack was an attack by four heavily armed militants on 18 September 2016, near the town of Uri in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. With 19 deaths, it was reported as "the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades".

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