K. Vijay Kumar, an advisor to J&K Governor Satyapal Malik, told The Hindu that while this was not the first time such an attack had taken place in the Kashmir Valley, it had happened after “a gap.”
According to a senior Home Ministry official, the explosives-laden car had been driving beside the convoy and after moving ahead of it had suddenly turned back and rammed into one of the buses.
Mr. Kumar said more than 2,500 personnel had been traveling together as the roads had been blocked for many days due to snowfall and a subsequent pile-up of traffic. “Due to snow and lot of blockade, the movement of vehicles was barred on the road leading to Srinagar. The convoy was coming from Jammu and the road opening party [which sanitizes the route] was in place,” he said.
JeM released a video claiming credit for the attack. They identified the attacker as Adil Ahmed Dar, a resident of Kakapora in Pulwama, who joined the outfit last year. In the video, Dar, who was seen sitting with sophisticated weapons in front of a backdrop of a black and white flag, was heard saying that by the time the video was released, he would be in heaven. JeM, headed by Masood Azhar, is backed by Pakistan.
Last year, 614 terrorist-related incidents were reported in J&K, the highest in the past six years. A total of 91 security personnel were killed in these incidents.