Srinagar: In the deadliest attack on security forces in three years, eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others critically wounded when militants rained bullets on a bus carrying them in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.
The suspected LeT militants sprayed a bus carrying the personnel of 161 battalion of CRPF with bullets at Frestbal, 14 KMs from here, officials said.
The CRPF’s Road Opening Party (ROP) engaged the militants and killed two of them. According come accounts, two more militants were involved in the attack but there was no official confirmation.
The area has been sealed and message flashed about the possibility of two terrorists having fled the spot in a car towards Srinagar.
The injured were rushed to the hospital where doctors declared five of them having been brought dead, while the condition of four of the 21 personnel was stated to be critical.
After the encounter was over, bodies of three more CRPF personnel were found on the back seats of the bus raising the death toll to eight.
The militants appeared to have carefully chosen the spot for the ambush as every vehicle has to slow down there because of a sharp curve on the road. Security agencies suspect a reconnaissance might have preceded the assault.
This is the third terror strike in three weeks targeting security personnel and the deadliest after the June 24, 2013 attack on Army personnel at Hyderpora on the outskirts of Srinagar in which nine army men were gunned down.
Inspector General of CRPF Nalin Prabhat rushed to the spot and was leading the combing operations. “We have eliminated two terrorists who are believed to be from Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police K Rajendra, who visited the spot, said the two militants had been neutralized but “unfortunately we have suffered some causalities too”.
Asked whether the slain gunmen were from across the border, Rajendra said, “In all probability they seem to be from Pakistan.”
Director General of CRPF Durga Prasad will visit the scene of encounter tomorrow.
In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed deep anguish over the killing of the CRPF personnel.
“My heart goes out to the families of the CRPF men who lost their lives in Pampore. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said in a tweet.
This is the second attack on a bus carrying security personnel within three weeks. On June 3, militants had fired at a bus carrying BSF personnel in Bijbehara, killing two of them. On June four, militants had gunned down three policemen at general bus stand.
Traffic on the busy highway came to halt immediately after the attack, while tension gripped the nearby Pampore town.
On June 3, three Border Security Force personnel were killed and five others were injured after militants ambushed their convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Bijbehara in south Kashmirs Anantnag district. The militants had managed to escape after the attack.
Major militant Strikes since 2013
June 3, 2016:
3 BSF personnel were killed and 5 more wounded after militants ambushed their convoy in Bijbehara
February 20, 2016:
3 armymen, 3 CRPF men and one civilian besides 3 militants were killed when militants attacked a convoy of CRPF in Pampore and entered EDI building nearby.
August 5, 2015:
2 LeT militants attacked a BSF convoy in the Udhampur district, killing 2 BSF jawans. One militant was killed while another Pakistani militant was captured alive by villagers.
December 5, 2014:
8 army soldiers, including a Lieutenant-Colonel, 3 J&K Policemen and 6 militants were killed when they stormed an Indian Army camp in north Kashmirs Uri.
June 24, 2013:
8 army jawans were killed and 11 other injured when militants carried out a brazen attack on an army convoy, near Hyderpora Srinagar.
PM Pain Over Death Of CRPF Men
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed pain over the death of eight CRPF personnel in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir and saluted their courage.
“I salute the courage of the CRPF personnel martyred today in J&K. They served the nation with utmost dedication. Pained by their demise,” he tweeted.
“My thoughts are with the families of those martyred today. May those injured recover soon,” he said in another tweet.
2 Militants Killed In Ongoing Uri Gunfight
Army on Saturday claimed to have killed two militants in an ongoing operation near Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector of north Kashmirs Baramulla district.
An army officer told news agency GNS that soldiers of 17 JAK RIF who were manning the Lachipora forest area of Uri intercepted a militant group late this afternoon.
After being challenged, the suspected militants opened fire on the forces triggering off an encounter, he said.
“So far two militants have been killed during the gunfight”, he said.
The operation in the area is still going on, the officer added.
Hizb Module Busted In Shopian: Police
Police on Saturday claimed to have busted a module of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit and arrested three of its members in Shopian. An official said that three militants were arrested during the operation.
They were identified as Zahid Mangrey, son of Muhammad Afzal Mangrey, Sohel Lone, son of Abdul Bashir and Arshid Khan, son of Abdul Rashid Khan all residents of Ganaupora village of Shopian in south Kashmir.
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