Suicide car bomber kills 30 police officers in Indian Kashmir
February 14 2019 06:04 PM
Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama distric
Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama distric

Reuters/Srinagar

A suicide car bomber rammed a bus carrying Indian police officers in Kashmir on Thursday, killing 30 of them in a major attack on security forces in the disputed region..

Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack on a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force on Jammu and Kashmir's main highway, a local news agency said.

Indian forces have sporadically battled militants in mountainous Kashmir since an armed revolt in 1989 in which tens of thousands were killed, but car bombings are rare.

‘I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs,’ Modi said in a tweet.

The last major attack was in 2016 when militants raided an Indian army camp in Uri that killed 20 soldiers.

Thursday's explosion was heard from several miles away, according to witnesses. Mohammad Yunis, a journalist who reached the site minutes later, told Reuters he saw blood and body parts scattered along a 100-metre stretch of the highway.

A Jaish-e-Mohammad spokesman, in a statement carried by GNS new agency, said dozens of security force vehicles were destroyed in the attack.

Jaish-e-Mohammad, one of the most powerful militant groups operating in Kashmir, was blamed for a 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that led to India deploying its military on the border with Pakistan.

On Wednesday, an explosion at a school in Kashmir wounded a dozen students. The cause of the blast remains unclear.



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