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RDX for Pulwama Attack was Brought to J&K in Small Quantities Over Several Months, Reveal Sources

With Thursday’s attack, the RDX seems to have made its entry back as a weapon of destruction after about 11 years. The last known use of this highly explosive substance in a terrorist attack goes back to 2008 terror attacks in Assam.

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Updated:February 16, 2019, 7:17 AM IST
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RDX for Pulwama Attack was Brought to J&K in Small Quantities Over Several Months, Reveal Sources
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat pays tribute to the martyred CRPF jawans who lost their lives in Thursday's Pulwama terror attack, after their mortal remains were brought at AFS Palam in New Delhi, February 15, 2019. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Several kilograms of high-grade RDX explosive was used in the suicide attack on a CRPF bus that killed 40 security personnel in one of the deadliest terror strikes on security forces in Kashmir’s Pulwama in three decades, officials said on Friday.

With Thursday’s attack, the RDX seems to have made its entry back as a weapon of destruction after about 11 years. The last known use of this highly explosive substance in a terrorist attack goes back to 2008 terror attacks in Assam.

The scale of the Pulwama attack indicates long-term planning as the RDX was brought to India in small quantities over a period of several months, sources told News 18.

While sources in the CRPF said that about 80 kilogram of RDX could have been used in Thursday’s attack, an NIA official whose team conducted the forensic examination of the blast site, put the number much lower. The exact figure will be determined based on the outcome of the forensic lab result, the NIA official said.

The blast that was carried out by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist after he rammed his explosive laden SUV into the ill-fated bus--HR 49 F 0637--from the left side. Investigators also found that the SUV used by the terrorist was a local car bearing a J&K number plate. The attack took place at the 272nd milestone on National Highway near Latoomode in Pulwama at about 3:33 pm.

The officials said the scattered remains of the bus, reduced to blackened bare frames after the blast, does not reflect that an improvised explosive device (IED) was used to target it.

The fatal damage can be wreaked by a better grade of explosive like RDX, they said.

The attacked bus was the third in the convoy of 78 vehicles which also included as many as 16 bullet-proof protection bunker vehicles that had joined the convoy an hour back from the last halt spot of Qazigund to guard troop movement.

The terrorist drove the vehicle on the highway from a link road on the Kakapora-Lelhar side and was moving parallel to the bus belonging to the 76th battalion, and the investigators suspect the explosion was triggered, killing all 40 occupants.

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