Seven pilgrims, of which 5 were women, were killed and 14 others, including two policemen were injured in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir when the militants attacked a bus returning from the Amarnath shrine.
The attack took place in Batengoo at around 8:10 pm when the militants first opened fire at a security check post. The policy retaliated by firing back after which the militants fired again. The pilgrims bus which was very close to the check post got caught in the cross fire. The militants surrounded the bus and fired bullets at it indiscriminately.
Two pilgrims died on the spot, while rest of the injured pilgrims were taken to the nearby hospital. Five more pilgrims later succumbed to their injuries.
The bus which was carrying around 60 pilgrims was on its way back from the Amarnath Shrine. The bus, registered in Gujrat, was not part of the yatra convoy.
This year’s Amarnath Yatra has been highly guarded as there had been intelligence reports saying that “terrorists have been directed to eliminate 100 to 150 pilgrims and about 200 police officers and officials.” As per the reports the attack could target a Yatra convoy “which they believe will result in flaring of communal tensions throughout the nation.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attacks saying he was “Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone…My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in J&K. My prayers with the injured. India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate.”
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said “it is a gruesome attack, not only on unsuspecting guests, but a brazen attack on Kashmir and Kashmiriyat. All of us shall have to rise against this scourge of violence, the sooner the better.”