Deadliest attack in Kashmir militancy

Deadliest attack in Kashmir militancy

As many as 49 CRPF personnel were killed and several others injured when a local Jaish-Muhammad suicide bomber from Pulwama rammed his explosives-laden car into a CRPF convoy at Lethpora.

In the past three decades of armed conflict in Kashmir, the attack on CRPF in Pulwama was deadliest in terms of casualties inflicted and only third of its kind wherein a militant blew himself up, officials said on Friday.

As many as 49 CRPF personnel were killed and several others injured when a local Jaish-Muhammad suicide bomber from Pulwama rammed his explosives-laden car into a CRPF convoy at Lethpora.

In October 2004, in a similar manner, a Lashkar-e-Toiba suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into an army convoy in Singhpora village along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway in northern Kashmir, killing around 10 soldiers and injuring 20 others.

The bomber, who was a Pakistani national, and a civilian truck driver also died in the explosion, while 15 civilians were also injured. This was the first attack wherein a bomber had managed to hit an army convoy.

“The Thursday’s Lethpora attack was similar to that of 2004 attack. But this one inflicted more casualties on forces and there was no loss of civilian lives either,” a police official said, insisting not to be named as he wasn’t authorised to speak to media.

Earlier on October 1, 2001, a JeM militant rammed a ‘Tata Sumo’ vehicle laden with explosives into the main gate of the J&K assembly in Srinagar.

“The strike was coordinated as it allowed two other JeM militants to enter the assembly compound and fire indiscriminately at forces. 38 people including civilians and policemen were killed in the attack,” another police official said.

“It is only third time in the three decades of violence in J&K that a suicide bomber has carried out such an attack,” the official said about the Lethpora explosion.

Security officials say suicide bombing is a method of attacking forces seen in conflict areas such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Syria.

“Militants operating in J&K, however, have mostly relied on fidayeen attacks wherein they storm a security installation or a camp and carry out the attack,” the official said.

Dozens of such fidayeen attacks took place in Kashmir, mostly from 1999 to 2005 “after which such attacks decreased.”

“Thursday’s attack is also deadliest in terms of casualties,” the police official said.

Earlier on May 23, 2004, around 19 Border Security Force personnel and 11 of their family members were killed after Hizb-ul-Mujahideen detonated an improvised explosive device on their convoy in Gulabbagh-Lower Munda area along the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

On May 14, 2002, at least 34 people, including 22 soldiers and several of their family members were killed when militants stormed an army camp and attacked an army family quarters at Kaluchak, about 10 kms from Jammu.

On June 28, 2003, 12 soldiers were killed in a fidayeen attack on an army installation at Dogra regiment camp in Sunjwan, on the outskirts of Jammu city.

On June 24, 2005, nine army men were killed and 21 others injured after militants targeted a Rashtriya Rifles convoy along the Dal Lake in Srinagar.

On July 19, 2008, 10 soldiers were killed in an IED blast at Narbal crossing on the outskirts of Srinagar.

On June 24, 2013, 10 army men were killed in a militant attack in Hyderpora area in Srinagar.

On September 18, 2016, militants stormed an army installation in heavily-militarised Uri area in Baramulla, killing 19 soldiers and injuring many others.

In December 2017, two local Jaish militants—Fardeen of Tral and Manzoor Baba of Pulwama—stormed a CRPF training camp in Lethpora, killing five personnel of the force.

On July 14 last year, JeM militants stormed police lines in Pulwama, killing four policemen and four CRPF personnel.

On February 10, 2018, militants stormed a military station at Sunjwan on the outskirts of Jammu city, killing six army men and one civilian.