7 Amarnath pilgrims killed, 11 others injured in Anantnag attack

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 7/11/2017 10:10:26 AM

SRINAGAR, July 10: Seven Amarnath pilgrims including five women were killed and 11 others including cops injured in an attacks at Anantnag this evening.
Inspector general of police (IGP) Muneer Khan told media that the attack was on SOG and not on pilgrims, who were moving in a bus, without any security cover.
Giving details a police spokesman in a statement said, “Today evening militants initially attacked a police bullet proof vehicle at Botengoo. The fire was retaliated. There was no report of injuries. Thereafter the militants fired on a police naka near Khanabal. The fire was retaliated. A tourist bus was hit by bullets in which about 18 tourists were injured. Among them six person died while rest are being treated. The bus was on way to Jammu from Baltal and was not part of the convoy.”
Reports said condition of four of the injured is critical. The incident has been condemned in strongest words by mainstream and separatist leaders equally including chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Reports said the incident occurred at 8.20 PM. Militants attacked an armoured vehicle of police . When the police fired back, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately, officials said. They added, “”In the firing by militants, seven people, five of them women, were killed, and another seven injured,” an official said.
According to reports , the yatri bus had come from Sonamarg. The pilgrims were on their way back after visiting the Amarnath shrine. The police claimed the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on a highway after 7
The bus, which was from Gujarat, was reportedly not part of the main yatra convoy and was not registered with the shrine board, the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF said. The main yatra convoy is escorted by the CRPF.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack in a statement, saying: "This is an assault on our values and traditions which we hold dear. We will leave no stone unturned to root out the perpetrators of this heinous crime."
Following the attack, security has also been stepped up at Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Udhampur. Internet services have also been suspended in the Kashmir Valley.
The annual yatra to the holy shrine of Amarnath began from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal amidst tight security arrangements on June 29. Over 6,000 pilgrims were allowed to move towards the shrine from north Kashmir's Baltal base camp while 5,000 pilgrims proceeded from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route.
Around 1.2 lakh pilgrims have registered themselves this year.
Among the security arrangements for the 45-day pilgrimage are a satellite tracking system, drones, mobile bunker vehicles and road opening parties (ROPs) along the entire route from Jammu to Pahalgam and Baltal.
The centre has provided an additional 40,000 paramilitary forces to assist the state government for the yatra.



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