40 CRPF jawans martyred in IED blast on Srinagar-Jammu highway

40 CRPF jawans martyred in IED blast on Srinagar-Jammu highway

NEW DELHI: At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday when a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the bus they were travelling in, one of the worst terror strikes in the state in recent years, officials said.nnMore than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora.nnPolice said the terrorist driving the suicide vehicle was Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama who joined the JeM in 2018.nnThe casualties are likely to go up.nnThe terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that took place about 30 km from Srinagar, they said.nnOver 20 people were injured in the terror attack, which reduced the bus to a mangled heap of iron. Several other buses were damaged in the attack.nnBody parts could be seen strewn around the area.nn”It was a large convoy and about 2,500 personnel were travelling in multiple vehicles. Some shots were also fired at the convoy,” CRPF DG R R Bhatnagar told PTI.nnThe convoy started from Jammu around 3.30 am and was supposed to reach Srinagar before sunset, officials said.nnThe number of personnel travelling back to the Valley was high as there was no movement on the highway for the last two to three days because of bad weather and other administrative reasons, they said.nnUsually, about 1,000 personnel are part of a convoy but this time it was a total of 2,547 personnel.nnA road opening party was deployed and the convoy had armoured counter-terror vehicles, officials said.nnForensic and bomb analysis teams are on the spot.nnThe bus that was the focus of the attack belongs to the 76th battalion of the force and had 39 personnel on board, officials said.nnCRPF Inspector General (Operations) in the Kashmir Valley Zulfiqar Hasan described it as a “vehicle-bound attack” and said Jammu and Kashmir Police has taken up the investigation.

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