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Home / Politics / Policy /  Terrorists kill 7 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, injure 32 in Anantnag

Srinagar/New Delhi: Terrorists on Monday night killed seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims from Gujarat, including six women, and injured 32 others as they struck at a bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, in the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2000.

The bus bearing the registration number GJ 09Z 9976 was attacked at around 8.20pm near Khanabal when it was on its way to Jammu, the J&K police said.

Police said the bus was not a part of the Amarnath 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 the firing was retaliated. There were no injuries in this attack.

Thereafter, the terrorists fired on a police picket near Khannabal. When the police retaliated, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately, and the bus carrying the Amarnath pilgrims came in the crossfire.

Seven of the pilgrims were killed and 32 were injured, the police said.

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rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was personally monitoring the situation, strongly condemned the terror attack and asserted that India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and evil designs of hate. “Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone," the prime minister tweeted.

“My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in J&K. My prayers with the injured," he added. “India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate."

In another tweet, he said he has spoken with J&K governor N.N. Vohra and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured all possible assistance required. Union home minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Vohra and Mehbooba, and 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".

“This incident should add to our determination to eliminate terrorism," he added.

The attack was condemned by other leaders as well.

The last time the Amarnath Yatra was targeted was on 1 August 2000. The terrorists had then struck in Pahalgam area, killing 30 people, who also included porters.

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