At least 42 CRPF personnel were martyred in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday when an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into the bus they were travelling in, officials said. Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the incident. According to reports, the terrorist who was driving the explosive-laden vehicle has been identified as Aadil Ahmad alias Waqas Commando from KakaporaÂ of Gundi Bagh, Pulwama.
He joined the Jaish-Mohammed in 2018, police said. The casualties are likely to go up.
The attack took place when the convoy was moving from Jammu to Srinagar at around 3.15 pm. The vehicles were blown up on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Awantipora area of the district, a police official said. Around 12 personnelÂ were also injured in the IED blast, which reduced a bus to a mangled heap of iron.Â Following the blast, gunshots and grenade blasts were also heard.
According to reports, two buses in the CRPF convoy were targeted in the high-intensity IED blast. Pakistan backed Jaish-e-Mohammed claims responsibility for Pulwama IED terror attack, in a text message to Kashmiri News Agency GNS, claims reports.Â
Reports suggest that there were nearly 70 vehicles in the convoy in which around 2500Â personnel were traveling.Â "Senior officers at the spot, the investigation is underway. Injured being taken care of. There were 2500 personnel in the convoy," CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar said.
"J&K Police has taken up the investigation. The injured shifted to hospital. Post-blast analysis being done at the spot," Zulfiqar Hassan, IG CRPF(Operations), said.
"Disturbing news coming in from #awantipura. Twelve of our security personnel have been martyred and several have been injured. No words are enough to condemn the gruesome terror attack. How many more lives will be snuffed out before this madness ends? (sic),"Â former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
Naveen Patnaik has also condemned the attack. "Deeply saddened by the martyrdom of so many @crpfindia #jawans in terrorist attack in #Pulwama district of #JammuAndKashmir. Strongly condemn the cowardly act and condolences to the bereaved families (sic)."
Deeply saddened by the martyrdom of so many @crpfindia #jawans in terrorist attack in #Pulwama district of #JammuAndKashmir. Strongly condemn the cowardly act and condolences to the bereaved families.â€” Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) February 14, 2019