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‘Explosives had shaped-charge design to penetrate armour’

Lathepora: Security personnel inspecting the site of Fidayeen attack in which 30 CRPF Jawans were kileld and dozens injured,at Lathepora Awantipora in Pulwama district of South Kashmir on Feb 14, 2019. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Feb 16: Indicating the meticulousness of the planning that had gone into carrying out the Lethpora attack, the material used in it was designed in such a way that on explosion it carried out the maximum damage in a limited space, sources say.

While it is not clear what kind of material was used in the bombing, a source in police department told The Kashmir Monitor that the explosives had a “shaped charge” designed for focused impact and to, especially, penetrate armour.


The bus which bore the maximum impact in Thursday’s bombing was blown to bits and reduced to a pile of scrap.

“The security agencies are making efforts to find out who the owner of the vehicle was and whether or not it was a stolen one. The NIA has collected samples of blood strains and remnants of the vehicle,” the source said.

The attack on the highway saw 49 CRPF personnel getting killed after a local Jaish bomber blew self up in a vehicle laden with explosives after ramming it into a CRPF bus which was part of a convoy approaching from Jammu.
Such was the impact that parts of the vehicles and human remains were scattered across a 100 metre stretch of the highway.

Even as reports suggest use of 100 kilograms of RDX, the investigating agencies are yet to ascertain the exact nature and quantity of the explosives and the vehicle used by the attacker.

As per initial reports, the attacker, Adil Ahmad, was driving an SUV (Scorpio).

For now, the security agencies say that he was driving a vehicle packed with over 100 kg of explosives on the wrong side of the road and hit the bus.
Conflicting versions too have come up claiming that he may have been driving a sedan or a hatchback, carrying 60 kg of RDX.

DG CRPF, RR Bhatnagar, said that investigation was going on and exact details were yet to be established.
“NIA teams have collected evidences. Investigations are on and it will take some to ascertain the facts,” Bhatnagar told reporters on Saturday. He also visited the spot during the day.

The NIA team along with explosive and forensic experts on Friday collected samples from the site.

More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Lethpora in Awantipora around 3.15 pm on Thursday.