The convoy from Jammu has plied only thrice in the last fortnight, as snow blocked road and CRPF jawans were stranded in Jammu since February 4. 16 vehicles dropped out at Qazigund on reaching destination but 16 ‘mobile bunkers’ joined convoy to deal with terrorist ambushes which increase beyond Qazigund. The convoy left Qazigund at 2:38 pm. At Latoomode of Awantipora in Pulwama, an explosive laden vehicle entered the Jammu-Srinagar highway from a left bylane. It overtook a bus, fifth in the convoy and exploded. The bus was blown to smithereens. The sixth bus was also impacted by the blast. Thursday’s convoy of 78 vehicles, transporting 2,547 jawans, left Jammu transit camp at 3:30 am. The jawans were returning from leave or going to areas of deployment. 40 CRPF jawans died, 39 in the 5th bus and one from the ROP. Five more men in the sixth bus were injured. This is the first time a suicide bomber in an explosive laden vehicle has attacked a CRPF convoy. About 80kg of explosives suspected to have been used.
India has said it will ensure the “complete isolation” of Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 46 paramilitary police in Indian-administered Kashmir. It claims to have “incontrovertible evidence” of its neighbour’s involvement but has not provided it. Pakistan denies any role in the attack by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, which is based on its soil. Thursday’s bombing of the convoy was the deadliest attack on Indian forces in the region for decades. Federal Minister Arun Jaitley said India would take “all possible diplomatic steps” to cut Pakistan off from the international community. But a Pakistani minister has asked India to reveal their evidence, and offered to help them investigate the attack. There has been an insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir since the late 1980s but violence has risen in recent years.