Pampore attack was ‘opportunistic’

The two Lashkar militants who were killed had failed to zero in on a target in Srinagar

June 28, 2016 02:48 am | Updated November 17, 2021 04:56 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus at Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir last Saturday was an “opportunity ambush” as the two militants of the Lashkar-e-Taiba — now identified as Pakistanis — failed to zero in on a target in Srinagar city, a top government official told The Hindu .

As the terrorists drove to the Jammu-Srinagar Highway in a car suspected to be driven by a surrendered militant, they spotted the CRPF bus, which was moving slowly, and attacked it, killing eight jawans and injuring 22 others. Four of the injured are still on ventilator support.

Around three weeks ago, the CRPF generated an intelligence report that a “spectacular terrorist attack would take place in Srinagar on or around the 17th day of Ramzan”. An official said the two LeT terrorists killed in Saturday’s encounter, on the 18th day of Ramzan, were part of a group of 14 who had infiltrated near Bandipore in north Kashmir on June 17. The group was intercepted by the Army. Four militants were killed in a gunfight, and the remaining 10 escaped and were suspected to have dispersed in two groups.

“We suspected that two LeT terrorists involved in the Pampore attack broke away from the group … After looking for a target in Srinagar, they drove down the highway and attacked the CRPF bus in an opportunity ambush,” the official said.

While one of the terrorists has been identified as Majid Bhai, with the help of the inputs generated by the CRPF, the other is thought to have been known as Abu Gaznavi.

On Monday, CRPF Director-General K. Durga Prasad said: “The terrorists fired around 200 rounds of ammunition from their AK-47 rifles, and they could have got help from surrendered militants.” The CRPF opened an inquiry to find out which of the jawans killed the two terrorists. The CRPF bus was part of a convoy and was followed by a minibus and an armoured vehicle.

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