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Fresh batch of Amarnath pilgrims leaves Jammu
KT NEWS SERVICE
JAMMU, July 11: A fresh batch of 3,289 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu for the Kashmir valley on Tuesday despite the killing of seven pilgrims in an exchange of fire between police and militants in Anantnag district of South Kashmir.

"A fresh batch of 3,289 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 185 vehicles around 3 a.m., on Tuesday for the Valley", officials said here.

On Monday night, seven pilgrims -- six women, one man -- were killed and 19 others injured when an unescorted bus carrying pilgrims from Gujarat was caught in cross-fire at Khanabal, Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

The victims were travelling in the bus which was neither part of the escorted yatra convoy nor registered with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

"The attack occurred at 8.20 PM. All yatra movement which is protected by the security forces on the highway stops at 7.00 PM after which no movement of pilgrims is officially allowed," said a senior police officer.

The ill-fated pilgrims had performed the yatra and had boarded the bus at Baltal base camp in Ganderbal district.

The officer said the militants first attacked a police bullet proof bunker at Khanabal and later a police check point.

"After retaliation from the police, the militants started firing indiscriminately. The bus of pilgrims, according to police, was caught in the ambush," a police spokesman said.

The 40-day long yatra started on June 29 and will end on August 7.

So far, nearly 1.40 lakh pilgrims have reached the cave shrine located at 3,888 metres above sea-level.


News Updated at : Wednesday, July 12, 2017
 
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