Valentine’s Day Massacre: Car Bomb Kills 43 Soldiers, Wounds 20 in Kashmir

Valentine’s Day Massacre: Car Bomb Kills 43 Soldiers, Wounds 20 in Kashmir
SRINAGAR - In the worst ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy

erupted in 1989, a suicide bombing Feb. 14 rammed his SUV packed with explosives in

a CRPF bus on Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing at least 43 troopers and leaving the security established


The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the horror and released a video clip of the suicide

the bombing, a 'commander' identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed was shot by Lethpora, about 30 km from here

Police sources said the suicide bomber-driven SUV came along with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus when a 78-vehicle convoy carrying 2,547 security

personnel was going from the transit camp in Jammu to Srinagar. and rammed it in the bus around 3.15 pm, triggering a deafening explosion.

So devastating was the attack - one report spoke of 200 kg of explosives, including

possibly RDX, packed in the SUV - that the CRPF bus was left a mangled heap, many of its occupants losing their limbs

CRPF officials said the CRPF vehicle was partly damaged in the bus which was the

the target of the militants destroyed completely. "It is difficult to believe how anyone in that bus has survived," said a police officer.

Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh said it was a suicide attack. This was confirmed by other officials later

In a statement to a local news agency GNS, a caller claiming to be a spokesman of JeM said it was a 'fidayeen' (suicide) attack

All the injured were shifted to the Army's 92 Base Hospital in the Badamibagh Cantonment of Srinagar city. Some of them were in critical condition

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in condemning the horror.

"The attack ... is despicable, I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel will not go in vain. The whole nation stands shoulder to the brave martyrs," he tweeted.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was to visit Bihar Feb. 15, is set to reach Srinagar instead Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba cut

short his visit to Bhutan to Rush to Srinagar for a high-level security meeting on Friday.

"Today's dastardly attack ... is extremely painful and disturbing. I bow to every and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation," said Rajnath Singh.

All traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway came to an abrupt halt. Senior police and CRPF officers rushed to the spot for a post-explosion analysis.

An officer said the CRPF and police will carry out a detailed investigation.

This is the worst single attack in Jammu and Kashmir since a new Pakistan-backed separatist campaign began in 1989. 18

September, 2016 in Uri Army Camp on one after the militants after 19 soldiers dead - forcing New Delhi to launch 'surgical

strikes' on terrorist camps in Pakistan

Officials said the reason why so many CRPF personnel were on the move at one go on the Srinagar-Jammu highway due to bad weather. The convoy left Jammu before morning

The Associated Press adds: A pre-recorded nine-minute video, circulated on social

media sites, showed the purported attacker in combat clothes and surrounded by guns and grenades. He was identified by local

news portals as a Kashmiri rebel named Adil Ahmed from the southern Pulwama area.

Later that day, thousands of people, chanting slogans such as "Brother Adil:

your blood will bring revolution" and "Go India, go back," marched to the militant's

village in solidarity. Government forces tried to stop people from gathering, leading to clashes as groups of young people hurled No injuries were immediately reported there

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