Terror attack on Amarnath Yatra, 7 killed, 14 injured
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The bus was attacked in Batengoo around 8.20 p.m. while returning from Baltal to Mir Bazar after darshan, J&K police and CRPF said. The militants also carried out two attacks on security forces in the area. Police sources said, the militants attacked a mini bus carrying pilgrims from Gujarat. The bus was not officially registered with the Amarnath Shrine Board for the pilgrimage and was without police escort, they said. Inspector General of Police Munir Khan said that seven pilgrims were killed, and 14 injured. The injured have been taken to the Army Base Hospital in Srinagar. Khan said the attack was aimed at the security forces and not the yatris.
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The last known terror attack on the Amarnath Yatra was the killing of 30 persons, mostly pilgrims, in the base camp in Pahalgam in 2000. A CRPF statement said the bus was not part of the official yatra and not registered with the Amarnath Shrine Board. In the national capital, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the incident. Union Home and Defence Ministry officials were huddled in a meeting to take stock of the latest situation. Prime Minister Modi tweeted: "Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone."
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Union Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh condemned the attack. "It is not just an attack on the pilgrims, but an attack on the composite culture of the nation. As far as the Government of India is concerned, we have a policy of zero tolerance against terror, whether it is local or from across the border," he said.
The attack took place hours after the Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed to have busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba module with the arrests of two persons, including Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
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On Saturday, the Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu side due to law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley which was under curfew in the wake of the death anniversary of militant commander Burhan Wani.