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Amarnath yatra terror attack: 5 Gujaratis, 2 from Maha killed in Kashmir

The terrorists first attacked a bullet-proof bunker of the police at Botengoo

Agencies 

Mehbooba Mufti
Mehbooba Mufti

Terrorists on Monday killed seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, and injured 19 others as they struck at a bus in Kashmir's district, in the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2001.

The bus bearing the registration number GJ09Z 9976 was attacked around 08.20 pm near Khanabal when it was on its way to from Srinagar Jammu, police said.

Five of those killed were from and two from Maharashtra.

The deceased from were identified as Hasuben Ratila Patal, Surakha Ben and Lakshimiben S Patal from Valsad, Ratan Zeena Bhai Patal of Daman and Prajapati Champaben of Navsari, a Jammu and Kashmir police spokesperson said.

Those from Maharashtra were Nirmala Ben Thakor, a resident of Palghar, and Usha Mohanla Sonkar of Danu. Police said 19 were injured in the attack and their condition is stable.

A security official said the victims had performed the yatra two days ago and had subsequently moved to Srinagar.

On Monday, they were going from Srinagar to Jammu when they became the target of the terrorist attack. Police said the bus was not a part of the yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security.

The terrorists first attacked a bullet-proof bunker of the police at Botengoo, a police official said, adding it was retaliated. There were no injuries in this attack.





Thereafter the terrorists fired on a police picket near Khannabal, the police added.

When the police retaliated, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately in which the bus carrying the yatris got it.

The police and top government sources said the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7:00 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was personally monitoring the situation, strongly condemned the dastardly attack and asserted that India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and evil designs of hate.

He said he spoke to Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured all possible assistance required.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Vohra and Mehbooba.

"Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone," Modi tweeted.

"My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in My prayers with the injured," he added.

In yet another tweet, the prime minister said, "India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate."

The Home Minister, in his telephonic call to Vohra and Mehbooba, sought details of the attack. He told them to ensure that the injured people are given adequate medical treatment.

He also directed officials to ensure foolproof security in future.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley termed the attack as the "most reprehensible act" and said "This incident should add to our determination to eliminate "

The attack was condemned by other leaders as well.

The last time the was targeted was in 2001 when terrorists had struck in the Sheshnag area close to the holy cave of Amarnath, killing 13 people.

Prior to that, terrorists had attack Amarnath on August 1, 2000 in Pahalgam area, killing 30 people, who also included porters.

Internet services suspended in Jammu

Internet services were suspended in the Jammu region after the on Amarnath pilgrims, official said.

Internet and broadband services in the region have been suspended as a precautionary measure following the killing of Amarnath in a terrorist attack in the Kashmir Valley, the SSP control room said.

Terrorists tonight killed seven from Gujarat, including six women, and injured 32 others as they struck at a bus in the district, in the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2000.

Victims to be airlifted to Delhi

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the Amarnath injured in a at district will be airlifted to Delhi on Tuesday.

"The dead and the injured will be shifted to Srinagar tonight. They will then be airlifted to New Delhi in a special BSF aircraft at 7:30 am tomorrow," he said.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Mandeep Bhandari said the will continue from Jammu on Tuesday.

"The yatra will not be disrupted and it will continue as per the plans tomorrow," he told PTI.

on 'blot on Kashmiris', says Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned the terrorist attack and said that the incident has left Kashmiris' heads hanging in shame.

"The incident has left Kashmiris' heads hanging in shame. The attack is a blot on the name of Muslims and the people of Kashmir," said Mehbooba.

"I have no words to condemn this. I hope those involved will be arrested and punished soon," she added.

Attack on Amarnath yatris crime against humanity, says Sonia Gandhi 

Congress president Sonia Gandhi today termed the attack on Amarnath as "a crime against humanity" and called for decisive action against its perpetrators.

Gandhi said the government should order a thorough probe into any security lapses.

"The attack on the devotees of Lord Shiva is a crime against humanity. The entire nation is in shock," she said in a statement. The government should ensure the safety of the pilgrims, she said.

Attack on Amarnath yatris most reprehensible act, says Arun Jaitley

Terming the on Amarnath in Kashmir as the most reprehensible act, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the incident should add to India's determination to eliminate

The defence minister also conveyed his condolences to the families of those killed in the attack in

"Terrorist attack on #AmarnathYatra is the most reprehensible act. My condolences to the bereaved families," he tweeted.

"This incident should add to our determination to eliminate terrorism," the defence minister said in another tweet.

Mamata Banerjee condemns attack 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the terrorist attack on Amarnath yatris and said is unacceptable anywhere in the world.

"Strongly condemn the attack on Amarnath yatris and the police. unacceptable anywhere in the world," Banerjee said in a statement.

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I have spoken to the Governor and Chief Minister of and assured all possible assistance required.

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