Srinagar, June 25 (IANS) Eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and 22 injured in a deadly firing attack on their bus by two LeT ‘fidayeen’ terrorists on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Pulwama district on Saturday. The two Lashkar militants were gunned down, officials said.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba militants attacked the bus, which was on its way to Srinagar, at around 4.45 p.m.
“A vehicle carrying CRPF troops back after routine duties was attacked by two LeT terrorists in Fristbal area near Pampore town on Srinagar-Jammu national highway,” a CRPF spokesman told IANS here.
“Two LeT terrorists travelling in a private car came from the opposite direction and got down in front of the CRPF bus, resorted to indiscriminate firing and later tried to enter the bus,” he said, adding the CRPF’s road opening party (ROP) “swiftly swung into action and gunned down both the terrorists”.
“Eight of our boys were killed in the attack while 22 others were injured. The injured have been admitted for treatment to army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar,” he said. Some of the injured men are in critical condition.
Lashkar-e-Taiba spokesman Abdullah Gaznavi claimed his outfit’s responsibility for the attack through a statement mailed to some local news agencies in Srinagar.
He also admitted that both of the outfit’s militants involved in the attack have been killed.
The CRPF spokesman said both the slain militants were Pakistanis, adding that the operation against the fidayeen terrorists ended with the death of the two gunmen.
The bus was at the head of a small convoy, when it was stopped at a road bend and attacked.
Earlier, a senior police officer had told IANS that “a CRPF convoy on way to Srinagar was attacked by militants at Namblabal near Pampore town on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway”.
“The firing was returned and two militants were killed in the retaliatory action by the CRPF troopers,” he said, adding the injured CRPF troopers were taken to hospital where eight of the troopers succumbed.
Traffic on the busy highway came to halt immediately after the attack as tension gripped the nearby Pampore town. Traffic was restored late Saturday evening.