Former President Pranab Mukherjee said, "I'm extremely pained by this act of inhumanity perpetrated by terrorists. In this hour of grief, we must stand together as a nation. The united front put up by political parties and politicians across the spectrum is a sight of that unity. The response of the international community in condemning this barbarous attack in one voice will strengthen our resolve to fight this menace."
The last time such a car bomb attack unfolded was in 2001 when the J&K secretariat was attacked, claiming 38 lives. In a chilling video released minutes after the attack, Waqas confesses to carrying out the strike, saying he would be in heaven by the time people of Kashmir see the clip. He goes on to boast about other attacks carried out by the Jaish against India -- 2001 Parliament attack, Uri attack and Pathankot attack.
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A key facet in the report is that while the "traditional" threat to convoys has been in the form of IEDs and bullets - the use of a suicide bomber in a bomb-laden vehicle took the forces off guard.
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Guru, a native of Mandya district in Karnataka, died along with 36 other CRPF jawans after a suicide bomber from the Jaish-e-Mohammed rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district on Thursday afternoon.
Odisha CM Announces Ex-Gratia | Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik announces ex- gratia of Rs 10 Lakh each for the families of the CRPF jawans, from the state, who lost their lives in Pulwama attack on Thursday. The CM has also urged all educational institutions in the state to observe two-minute silence tomorrow at 11 am.
Representatives from various countries arrive in New Delhi:
Delhi: Representatives from different diplomatic missions leave from the Ministry of External Affairs. Representatives from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, South Korea, Sweden, Bhutan, Canada, Britain, Russia, Israel & others were present. #PulwamaAttack pic.twitter.com/eN5BVVqWYe— ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2019
Assuring that India will give a befitting reply to terror groups, Piyush Goyal said, "Our armed forces and people of India are competent to give a befitting reply to such forces. Our jawans will ensure that any forces which are enemy to India's interest get a strong rejoinder & people of India will continue to give confidence to them."
CLICK TO READ | 740 Security Forces Personnel Killed in 12 years in J&K; 23% of Total Casualties
According to data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a Delhi-based open data source, the number of fatalities in the valley have increased in the last six years after recording a low in the year 2012.
CLICK TO READ | Jammu and Kashmir National Highway a Death Trap for Security Forces? 58 Jawans Killed Since 2013
Most of these attacks have been witnessed on the Srinagar-South Kashmir highway stretch, claiming 56 of the 58 security personnel lives.
'Time to Teach Pakistan a Lesson' | Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday called for giving a befitting reply to Pakistan for the attack on CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama by terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, saying "the time for peace talks is over and they should be taught a lesson. Moving a resolution for condemning the terror attack and adjournment of the House, he accused Pakistan of playing a double game, saying "their prime minister (Imran Khan) is talking peace and the general (Qamar Javed Bajwa) is talking war."
Soldiers examine debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district February 14, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS)
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti condemned the killing."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," Abdullah tweeted.
The vehicle was blown up on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in the district's Awantipora area.
"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?" Mehbooba tweeted.
Several other mainstream politicians took to social media to condemn the attack.
"Very sad news coming from Lethpora , any form of killing must be condemned by one and all," People's Conference leader Imran Ansari said.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the incident, officials said.
The casualties are likely to go up.
Several people were injured in the terror attack, which reduced the bus to a mangled heap of iron.
19 Mar, 2019 | Sri Lanka in South Africa SL vs SA 134/720.0 overs 134/820.0 oversSri Lanka tied with South Africa (South Africa win Super Over by 9 runs)
16 Mar, 2019 | Sri Lanka in South Africa SL vs SA 225/1049.3 overs 135/228.0 oversSouth Africa beat Sri Lanka by 41 runs (D/L method)
16 Mar, 2019 | USA in United Arab Emirates UAE vs USA 182/720.0 overs 158/620.0 oversUnited Arab Emirates beat USA by 24 runs
15 Mar, 2019 | USA in United Arab Emirates USA vs UAE 152/715.0 overs 29/23.3 oversMatch Abandoned
15 - 18 Mar, 2019 | Afghanistan and Ireland in India IRE vs AFG 172/1060.0 overs 314/10106.3 oversAfghanistan beat Ireland by 7 wickets