Srinagar: The 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans killed in Pulwama terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar, were returning from leave, a media report claimed quoting CRPF spokesperson Ashish Kumar Jha. He also claimed that the attack was carried out nearly 30 km short of its destination – the Bakshi Stadium transit camp in Srinagar. (Pulwama Suicide Bomber Was a 22-year-old School Dropout – All You Need to Know About Him)Also Read - Terrorist Linked to Jaish-e-Mohammed, Tasked to Kill Nupur Sharma, Arrested: UP Police

The CRPF convoy was attacked on Thursday around 3.15 PM as a bus they were travelling in was rammed by an explosive-laden vehicle in Lethpora of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Jammu to Srinagar highway. Also Read - Another Migrant Labourer From Bihar Shot Dead In Targeted Killing in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora

Notably, the highway had been blocked for nearly a week due to heavy snowfall in the region and the number of CRPF jawans waiting to travel to Srinagar from Jammu was increasing day-by-day. The convoy consisting of 78 vehicles carrying 2,500 jawans reportedly started out from Channi Rama transit camp in Jammu around 3.30 AM. Also Read - Terrorists Who Killed Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat And TV Actor Amreen Bhat Gunned Down in J&K's Budgam

If reports are to be believed, the vehicle that rammed into one of the buses in the CRPF convoy was carrying around 250-300 kg explosives.

Meanwhile, a 12 member team of National Investigation Agency (NIA)- led by an IG rank officer – will go to the blast site on Friday to assist the Jammu and Kashmir Police in forensic evaluation of the spot. The Cabinet Committee on Security will be meeting at 9:15 AM on Thursday to analyse the events of Wednesday and deliberate on the future course of action. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also be visiting the militancy-hit state to take view of the situation.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik condemned the attack and held Intelligence failure as one of the reasons for Pulwama terror attack. He said the fact that the loading and movement of the explosive-laden SUV could not be detected should not be overlooked.

India-Pakistan War of Words Begins

On Thursday, Pakistan termed the Pulwama terror attack “a matter of grave concern”, while strongly rejecting Indian media and government’s allegations of the country’s link to the strike “without” probe.

Hitting back, India asked Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists and dismantle terror infrastructure operating from its soil. Th country also strongly reiterated its appeal to all members of the international community to support the proposal to list terrorists, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan.