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Amarnath yatri killings: CM condemns, says attack on Kashmir ethos

11 July 2017

The attack on a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims to Jammu on Monday was preceded by strikes at a police bunker at Batengoo and a naka at Khanabal in Anantnag district, sources said.

Mufti too condemned the incident.

The annual yatra to the Amarnath cave shrine began from Jammu last week amid tight security. "The security personnel had withdrawn from the area by the time the attack took place".

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also condemned the attack saying that India will never be intimidated by terrorist cowards.

The main yatra convoy is escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which has now rushed troops to the spot.

The pilgrims were returning after paying obeisance at the shrine nestled in the Himalayas when the attack occurred.

"This is a grave & unacceptable security lapse".

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Bhatnagar said the bus was not registered with the Amarnath Yatra Shrine Board. "He also concealed weapons looted from police guards in a vehicle and shifted them to different locations on the directions of LeT", he said. In a joint statement, they said the incident went against the very grain of Kashmiri ethos.

The state's chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, arrived at the scene shortly after the attack, which she called "an assault on our values and traditions".

The Amarnath yatra came under attack on August 1, 2000, when gunmen killed 30 people in Pahalgam.

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Earlier, the Amarnath yatra was suspended due to law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley for the death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. "This is the first time yatris have been targeted". "I share the pain and anguish of families who lost loved ones in the terror attack on innocent Amarnath Yatris today", he tweeted. "In spite of recent successes against militants and unprecedented force presence".

Six Hindu pilgrims, majority women, have been killed in a gun battle that erupted in Indian-administrated Kashmir after suspected rebel fighters attacked a police vehicle, officials said.

He added further that a CRPF camp located 3.5 km away from the attack site had also been attacked but that jawans had foiled the attack and that nobody had been injured.

Amarnath yatri killings: CM condemns, says attack on Kashmir ethos