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Seven Amarnath yatris killed, many injured in Kashmir attack – photos

ViewsHeadlines Desk,

Srinagar: Seven Amarnath pilgrims have reportedly been killed and around a dozen injured in an alleged terrorist attack. Leading Indian news agency IANS said that the Amarnath yatris or pilgrims were killed “when a bus of yatris was caught in a cross fire between militants and a police party in Jammu and Kashmir s Anantang district”.

The injured include several policemen as well. While talking to the media, Inspector General of Police Munir Khan said that the bus was carrying pilgrims back from Baltal after performing the yatra.

Courtesy: NDTV

An NDTV while quoting CRPF officials said that the bus, which was from Gujarat, was reportedly not part of the main yatra convoy and was not registered with the shrine board. It is needless to say that the main Amarnath yatra convoy is heavily protected by CRPF and other paramilitary forces.

Amarnath cave where the yatris go for pilgrimage, is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft), about 141 km (88 mi) from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town. The shrine forms an important part of Hinduism, and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. Thousands of Hindu devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave on challenging mountainous terrain to see an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.

The terrorist attack at the Amarnath pilgrims has attracted widespread condemnation. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Very sad news. The attack cannot be condemned strongly enough. My sympathies to the families & prayers for the injured. (sic)”. He added that such an attack was expected in spite of recent successes against militants by security forces. “The one thing we had all feared this year during the yatra. In spite of recent successes against militants and unprecedented force presence ” he tweeted. Jammu and Kashmir minister Naeem Akhtar, condemning the attack said this is a dark patch on the history of Kashmir. “This is the first time yatris have been targeted. Crackdown against terror will continue,” he said.

Media reports claim that the attack took place hours after the Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed to have busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba module with the arrests of two persons including Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil a resident of Muzaffarnagar Uttar Pradesh. On Saturday the Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu due to law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley which was under curfew due to the death anniversary of militant commander Burhan Wani.

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