At least 42 CRPF jawans killed in IED blast in Pulwama

At least 42 CRPF jawans killed in IED blast in Kashmir’s Pulwama

At least 42 CRPF jawans were killed and many injured in an IED (improvised explosive device) blast in the Lethpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Thursday afternoon. This is the highest number of casualties in an attack in the last three decades in Kashmir.

Preliminary reports suggested that the blast occurred at 3 p.m. when the CRPF convoy, carrying dozens of jawans, was moving on the highway. CRPF Inspector General said a vehicle laden with explosives hit the convoy.

Jaish-e-Muhammad claims responsibility for the explosion, saying it was a suicide blast; two CRPF vehicles damaged in the blast.

Terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a suicide blast. A JeM spokesman said its cadre Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas carried out the bombing. It was not immediately clear if Dar was in the vehicle when it exploded. “All injured have been shifted to a hospital,” said the police.

The highway was sealed, as deployments were rushed to the spot. The police said they were verifying if the IED was planted on a vehicle and was detonated when the CRPF vehicles neared it.

Sacrifices of our security personnel will not go in vain:PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the attack despicable and asserted that the sacrifices of security personnel would not go in vain. He also spoke with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials in the wake of the attack. “Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain,” he tweeted.

He said the entire nation stood shoulder to shoulder with the families of those killed. He also wished speedy recovery of those injured. “Spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama,” he said.

 The Congress conveyed its condolences to the family of the slain jawans through its official Twitter handle. “We are deeply saddened and angered by the terrorist attack that took the lives of our CRPF jawans in Pulwama. We strongly condemn this violence and stand with the martyrs. Our thoughts & prayers are with their friends and families in this time of grief,” it said.

BJP president Amit Shah termed the terror attack an “act of cowardice” and asserted that security forces would defeat those involved in terrorist activities. “Pained beyond words by the terror attack on our soldiers in Pulwama (J&K). It is an act of cowardice. My deepest condolences are with the families of our soldiers who have lost their lives. Our forces will remain firm against such acts of terror and defeat them,” he said in a tweet.

-FEBRUARY 14, 2019 / Pulwama J&K/PTI & Microstat

Pakistani, Indian foreign secretaries to meet on January 15: Sartaj Aziz

Pakistani, Indian foreign secretaries to meet on January 15: Sartaj Aziz

The foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India will here on January 15, Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s advisor on foreign affairs, has said.

Kashmir and all other outstanding issues will be on the agenda when Pakistan and India resume their comprehensive bilateral dialogue, Aziz said in the parliament on Friday.

The announcement came after Pakistan launched investigations into the Pathankot airbase attack, The Nation reported. India had linked the foreign secretary level talks to Pakistan’s action against the militants.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday chaired a meeting regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad organisation’s involvement in the attack and Islamabad’s response to New Delhi.

After the Pathankot air base attack, Sharif called Modi assuring him of “prompt and decisive” action against groups or individuals linked to the attack.

Seven security personnel were killed in the attack on the IAF base in Pathankot. Six terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed during the gunfight that began on January 2. Pakistan and India will remain in contact as Islamabad believes it needed solid evidence for a stern action.

Aziz told the house that the foreign secretaries of both the countries would discuss modalities of comprehensive bilateral dialogue and its timeframe during the meeting in Islamabad.

“As per the joint statement issued during the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan, the comprehensive dialogue would include all outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute,” he said.

-09 January 2016 | IANS | Islamabad