Jammu: The terrorists who ambushed a bus full of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore, leaving eight dead and many injured, fired 200 shots at the unprotected vehicle, a top official of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said on Monday.
“The bus was not bulletproof so there were casualties. We have to see how to make the bus more secure to travel in,” K Durga Prasad, the Director General of CRPF told NDTV.
The terrorists, he said, were armed with AK 47s and 11 magazines. “All boys were in the bus, they had no cover…they were fully exposed to enemy fire. But they fought back,” he said, adding that like the army, the CRPF would also now use bullet proof patches to fortify buses carrying troops.
Forty CRPF personnel were returning to Srinagar after a firing exercise when the two heavily armed terrorists stopped the bus and started firing. An amateur video shows that the terrorists kept firing without facing any challenge.
Mr Prasad said the terrorists had been helped by surrendered militants. “Our information suggest that surrendered militants had dropped them at Pampore in car minutes before the attack. The vehicle sped back towards Srinagar after dropping them,” he said.
A home ministry team is investigating possible lapses that may have helped the attackers inflict greater damage. Sources also say the security seemed colossally inadequate, given that there was specific intel about an attack at Pampore. Also, no one detected the terrorists waiting in the car on the highway.
The CRPF chief admitted that there aren’t enough bullet proof vests. “The number of light bullet proof vests is very limited and they are deployed for the ROP or escort duties. We are reviewing whether all soldiers need to wear these jackets,” he said.
Denying that standard operating procedure was skipped, Mr Prasad said: “The convoy was following instructions. We will look into any improvements that are needed.”
The attack has been claimed by the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar e Taiba (LeT).