At least 15 CRPF personnel were killed in an explosion in Awantipora area of Kashmir on Thursday, in one of the deadliest terror attacks on security forces in the valley in over a decade, police sources said.
The attack took place at around 3.15 pm when CRPF convoy was moving from Jammu to Srinagar, they said.
The convoy comprised 70 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling, according to Home Ministry sources in Delhi.
The toll is expected to go up, the sources said.
This might be the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir since 2004 when 28 BSF personnel were killed in an attack.
Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a local news agency.
PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack.
In a tweet, she 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?”
National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack.
“Terrible news coming from the valley. A number of CRPF soldiers are reported to have been killed & injured in an IED blast. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. My prayers for the injured & condolences to the families of the bereaved,” he tweeted.
“Jaish has claimed the blast as a suicide (fidaeen) attack reminiscent of the dark days of militancy pre-2004-05,” Abdullah added.