Amarnath yatra terror attack: Manhunt on for Pakistani mastermind Abu Ismail

14 July, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Senior army officers in south Kashmir say they had still been taking precautions while dealing with the civilian population who give safe passage to militants. FILE

As many as four terrorists, including two Pakistanis and two locals, are suspected to have carried out Monday's strike on the bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims.

While returning back from the Amarnath yatra completing their pilgrimage nearly seven pilgrims lost their lives to a severe terror attack on Monday night near Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said the attack was planned at a short notice when the bus halted for an hour due to a flat tyre and a mechanical snag.

In a statement Jamaat the Secretary General Muhammad Salim Engineer said: "we are appalled by the manner in which pilgrims were gunned down while travelling in a bus and we condemn this act unequivocally". The agencies believe that some local OGWs present in the area noticed the pilgrims and the bus that bore religious signs like "Om" and Amarnath Yatra stickers and tipped off the terrorists who targeted them once the road opening party was withdrawn after 7pm.

The Anantnag attack on the pilgrims came the same day police announced the arrest of an LeT module, which included a Hindu terrorist from Muzaffaranagar in Uttar Pradesh.

None of the rebel groups fighting to oust India from the mostly Muslim region has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the three top separatist leaders in Kashmir condemned it. Reportedly, the bus was neither a part of a convoy nor registered with the shrine board.

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The Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet under the leadership of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti granted ex-gratia of Rs. 6 lakh in favour of the next of kin killed in the Amarnath terror attack.

"Intelligence input received from Anantnag SSP reveals that terrorists have been directed to eliminate 100 to 150 yatris and about 100 police officers".

Kashmir, he said, has been proud of this tradition.

Several US lawmakers also condemned the attack and expressed compassion towards the victims' families.

Twelve pilgrims were wounded in the fighting that was triggered after the militants attacked a police bunker and another police party at a checkpoint.

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He added, "Militancy is going to outlive its life soon, we are in the last phase of militancy".

"The yatra will continue".

Massive protests were seen in the Jammu division against the attack.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called the terrorist attack on Amarnath pilgrims as outrageous, saying that religion is a fundamental right and human right.

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