SRINAGAR: At least 7 pilgrims, including 5 women, were killed in south Kashmir’s Anantnag on the 11th day of the Amarnath Yatra on Monday after terrorists fired on a bus in which they were travelling.
In what is suspected to be a joint operation of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, an armoured car of the police was attacked around 8:20 pm. When police returned fire, terrorists started shooting indiscriminately. Three policemen and 9 pilgrims were also injured in the attack.
One of the injured is critical.
According to a top state government official, the pilgrims killed belonged to Gujarat. This is the first terrorist attack on Amarnath pilgrims. The bus carrying pilgrims from Sonmarg were on their way back, after visiting the Amarnath shrine.
Police claimed the bus driver had disregarded the guideline that pilgrims’ vehicle should not ply on the highway after 7 pm. The Jammu-Srinagar highway was shut down and a manhunt was on.
Unconfirmed reports said that a top Kashmir cop quoting intelligence inputs had warned security forces that terrorists were planning to attack pilgrims and police escorting them.