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Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has admitted that the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday in which at least 40 CRPF Jawans lost their lives, was in part a result of an intelligence failure and said, "we must accept that we are at fault also".
The Governor's admission comes in the backdrop of reports that the Jammu and Kashmir police had on February 8 shared an intelligence input with security forces in the valley, warning of a possible terror attack.
Headlined "extremely urgent", the intelligence input sent on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, asked all security agencies to "sanitize areas properly before occupying your place or deployment as there are inputs that IEDs could be used".
Malik, who has been the de-facto head of the state since the BJP-PDP coalition government fell last year following the withdrawal of support by the BJP, said, "we cannot not accept that (intelligence failure). We could not detect or check the vehicle full of explosives moving on the highway. We must accept we are at fault also", according to a report in the Indian Express.
Admitting that there was no intelligence input about any local militant training to become a "suicide bomber", he said, "the fact that we did not know that there was a fidayeen among them (militants) is also a part of the intelligence failure." I can admit that, said Malik, according to the report.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's three decades of militancy, a Jaish suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district, killing at least 40 personnel and leaving many critically wounded on Thursday.
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 Latoomode in Awantipora.
The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the horror and released a video clip of the suicide bomber, a 'commander' identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed was shot before the young man carried out the strike in Lethpora.
Police sources in a statement said that Dar was driving a vehicle packed with over 350 kg of explosives on the wrong side of the road and hit the bus, in which estimated 35-44 personnel were travelling.
This was the first suicide car bomb attack in Kashmir since the 2001 strike on the Legislative Assembly in which 41 people, including three suicide attackers, were killed.
The scene of Thursday's attack is not very far from the Commando Training Centre at Lethpora, which was stormed by Jaish militants on December 31, 2017, killing five CRPF personnel.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway has been a favoured route for militants to target security forces.
The CRPF bore the brunt of a militant attack at Pampore, less than seven km from Lethpora, in June 2016, losing eight jawans while 22 others sustained injuries.
In an attack on the Uri military base in September 2016, Jaish militants killed 18 Army jawans and injured dozens of others. The ferocity of the attack led to India conducting a surgical strike against Pakistan.
(with PTI inputs)