8 CRPF men dead, 19 injured in major militant strike at Pampore

2 attackers killed; LeT claims responsibility

Srinagar: In a major militant strike, eight paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed and 19 others were injured when militants ambushed their convoy at Pampore near Frestbal along Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Saturday afternoon.

Official sources told news agency GNS that the attack occurred around 4:50 PM when militants ambushed convoy CRPF men of 161 Battalion at Frestbal -Nambalbal along the Highway. The militants according to official sources fired indiscriminately on the CRPF bus and also deflated its tyres.

“The CRPF men also retaliated and the exchange of gunfire continued for around 15 minutes,” said the sources, adding that in the initial exchange ,three CRPF men including an officer were killed while 23 others were injured, five of them critically.

Later, the two CRPF men also succumbed while remaining were shifted to 92 Base Hospital of Army at Badami Bagh, where three more succumbed and three are believed to be critical. Sources said that the attackers boarding a car and they were accompanied by two more militants who however managed to escape.

Soon after the attack, huge contingents of police, CRPF and army rushed to the spot and cordoned off the entire area and also launched searches. The security men also launched searches in nearby Pantha Chowk and Lasjan areas. But no one was reported to be arrested.

This is the deadliest attack since 2013 when that year on June 24, militants ambushed an army convoy at Hyderpora Bypass in Srinagar, killing eight army soldiers. Sources said the militants were Fidayeen and are apparently foreigners. The search operation was underway when reports last came in.

Meanwhile, Lashkar-e-Toiba spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi in a statement to GNS accepted the responsibility for the attack. He said two Fidayeen attackers ambushed the CRPF at Frestbal.

The Lashkar spokesman claimed that 13 CRPF men were killed and more than 20 were injured in the attack.” The outfit paid “glorious tributes” to these two slain militants”. (GNS)

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