June 2016 News

LeT Terrorists Ambush CRPF Bus Near Srinagar, Kill 8 Troopers

25 June 2016
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: Eight CRPF troopers were killed by two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants at Pampore, about 14km from here, on Saturday . More than 20 others were wounded, three of them critically, in the worst attack in the insurgency-hit state in three years. The troopers were returning from a target practice session when their bus was attacked. CRPF spokesman Bhavesh Kumar Choudhary told TOI both the attackers were killed in retaliatory firing. Saturday's attack, the third assault on security forces this month, coincided with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's victory in the Anantnag assembly bypoll. Deputy inspector general (South Kashmir) Nitish Kumar called the assault 'brief but intensive'. He said it was perhaps a suicide attack as the militants chose a spot near a bridge along the Jammu-Srinagar highway from where they could not have escaped. Sources said the attack took place near a sharp curve where vehicles slow down. Officials said the bus was carrying 24 jawans. 'They were taken by surprise by two terrorists who came in a car and started firing,' said an official. A news agency cited unconfirmed reports saying two more terrorists were involved and had fled in a car towards Srinagar. Reports said the area had been sealed and security forces were in pursuit of the attackers on the run. The LeT claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest on security forces since June 24, 2013 when nine Army soldiers were killed in an attack in Srinagar's Hyderpora area. In a statement, LeT spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi confirmed the attackers were part of a suicide squad. He claimed 13 CRPF men were killed and added the outfit paid 'glorious tributes' to the slain terrorists. Jammu & Kashmir police chief K Rajendra, who visited the scene, said the terrorists were from Pakistan 'in all probability'. In Delhi, intelligence sources said the attack has come even as the forces had been put on heightened alert ahead of the upcoming pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. Sources said there were 'several general threats' on possible attacks on the Amarnath Yatra and security forces. They added security forces have been asked to 'take strict action' against the terrorists following Saturday's attack. CRPF director general K Durga Prasad would fly to Srinagar to visit the wounded jawans on Sunday . This was the third assault on security forces this month. Two Jammu & Kashmir policemen, including an assistant sub inspector, were killed in an attack on a check post at Anantnag on June 4. A day earlier, three Border Security Force troopers were killed when terrorists attacked their convoy near Bijbehara. Three policemen were killed in Srinagar on May 23. The police had claimed to have killed their attackers later in the day . Two CRPF men were killed when three terrorists ambushed a patrol at Pampore on February 20. Three Army soldiers, including two captains, were killed a day later in the exchange of fire with the three attackers, who had taken refuge on the nearby Entrepreneurship Development Institute campus after attacking the CRPF troopers. The three terrorists were killed the following day .

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