Photos of Adil Ahmad Dar appeared soon after the deadly IED blast in Pulwama

Srinagar: At least 18 personnel of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) were killed and 40 injured as a vehicle laden with explosives rammed the bus they were travelling in, as part of a large convoy, at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. Initial information suggests a Scorpio SUV carrying 350 kg of explosives rammed the bus. Some 2,500 soldiers were in different buses on a sanitised and well-protected highway when the blast took place at Awantipora, around 20 km from Srinagar. Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack, the worst since the 2016 attack at an army camp in Uri, in which 19 soldiers were killed. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Srinagar tomorrow.

1. The police have identified a suicide attacker named Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama. Adil Ahmad joined the Jaish e Mohammad in 2018.

2. The number of dead may rise. The bus that was rammed was reduced to a mangled heap of metal. Several other vehicles in the convoy were also destroyed.

3. After the massive blast, human remains and wreckage were left scattered on the road, slick with snow.

4. Bullet marks on the bus indicate that more terrorists may have been hiding and may have fired at the convoy.

5. "It's a terror incident, we are looking into what caused it. We suspect it was a vehicle-bound attack," a top CRPF officer told reporters.

6. Asked how the attackers could carry out the explosion on such a heavily-guarded highway, the CRPF said, "It is a matter of investigation".

7. Union Minister of State for Home, Subhash Bhamre, condemned the attack and said: "Those responsible will not be spared".

8. This is the biggest attack in Jammu and Kashmir since the Uri attack in September 2016, when four heavily armed terrorists targeted an army brigade headquarters -- causing over 19 deaths. The Indian army had responded with a cross-border surgical strike in which several enemy installations were reportedly destroyed.

9. Union Minister VK Singh tweeted: "As a soldier and a citizen of India, my blood boils at the spineless and cowardly attacks. 18 brave hearts from the @crpfindia laid down their lives in #Pulwama. I salute their selfless sacrifice & promise that every drop of our soldier's blood will be avenged. #JaiHind"

10. The attack has been widely condemned by politicians across the spectrum. "No words are enough to condemn the gruesome terror attack. How many more lives will be snuffed out before this madness ends?" tweeted former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.