uicide bomb attack at Lathepora Awantipora in Pulwama district of south Kashmir
Security personnel carry out the rescue and relief works at the site of suicide bomb attack at Lathepora Awantipora in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, Thursday, February 14, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Srinagar: The toll from Thursday's terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir rose to 45 as two more troopers succumbed to their injuries, officials said on Friday.

Besides, 38 others were wounded in the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

The attack took place around 3.15 p.m. on Thursday when a suicide bomber belonging to the terror group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) rammed an explosive-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF troopers in Lethpora area of Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, officials said.

Kashmir JeM suicide attack 20190215
Image Credit: PTI

"None among the 44 CRPF men travelling in the bus that took the full impact of the suicide bombing survived," a CRPF official said.

"An injured person in another bus has also succumbed taking the death toll to 45," he added.

The official said the injured (38) CRPF men are being treated in the Army base hospital in Badamibagh cantonment area of Srinagar.

The CRPF convoy of 78 vehicles was coming from Jammu to Srinagar. The convoy carried 2,547 CRPF personnel.

Warning ignored?

The attack happened even as an intelligence input had warned of its possibility 48 hours earlier.

The intelligence input had said: "Chatter inputs reveal that JeM outfit has hinted to carry out IED attacks along the routes of security forces across Jammu and Kashmir. A video uploaded by the outfit has also been shared with all concerned. It is as such suggested that security forces need to be put on alert to thwart any such attempt by terrorists."

Suicide attak in Kashmir 20190215
Soldiers carry a victim after militants attacked a CRPF convoy in Goripora area of Awantipora town in Pulwama district, Thursday, Feb 14, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Informed sources said the intelligence input was shared with all security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

The video that was uploaded along with the threat message showed a truck carrying troops in Somalia blown up in a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) blast. In the message, the JeM had warned of a similar type of blast.

A video released by the JeM after the attack identified the suicide bomber as Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando, belonging to Kakapora town of Pulwama district.

Police sources said the bomber rammed his explosive-laden SUV into the CRPF bus and is believed to have been killed in the explosion.

There is, however, no official confirmation about the bomber's death .

Senior police and CRPF officials reached the spot immediately for post blast analysis.

The explosion was so massive that its sound was heard 10 km away.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed by National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval about the incident on Thursday.

Modi would chair a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) at 9.15 a.m. in Delhi on Friday.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, accompanied by Union Home Secretary and other senior officers of the ministry, is likely to arrive here on Friday.

A 12-member team of national Investigation agency (NIA) and another team of the national security guards (NSG) are also expected to arrive here to assist the police in the investigation of the terror strike.

US asks Pakistan to end 'support' and 'safe haven' to all terror groups


Washington: The White House asked Pakistan to immediately end "support" and "safe haven" to all terror groups as it strongly condemned the Pulwama terrorist attack.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday that left at least 37 CRPF personnel dead and many critically wounded.

"The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a late night statement on Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders (File photo) Image Credit: Reuters

"This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counterterrorism cooperation and coordination between the United States and India," she said in a strongly-worded statement issued by the White House.

Sanders said the United States condemns in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist attack in Pulwama by a Pakistan-based terrorist group.

"We express our deep condolences to the victims' families, the Indian government, and the Indian people for the loss of life in this brutal attack," said the White House Press Secretary.