Published: Tue, July 11, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

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

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

Inspector General of Police Munir Khan confirmed the toll and said 12 others including security men were injured in the attack.

The government should ensure the safety of the pilgrims, she said.

The procession winds through a part of the disputed territory of Kashmir where Muslim separatists have attacked Hindus in the past, prompting thousands of Indian soldiers and police officers to be deployed along the pilgrims' path to provide protection. An SASB spokesman on Monday said that 1,46, 692 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine so far.

The injured were rushed to Anantnag district hospital from where some of the critically wounded were shifted to Srinagar for treatment. Five of the dead were women. In the firing by militants, seven people were killed and as many injured, the official said.

An official said it was not registered with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and was travelling against the advisory not to ply after sunset.

One of the attacks took place at Botengoo in Anantnag.

He said he believed the attack was in retribution for the recent killing of militants by security forces. The operation was going on when reports last poured in.

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Lions skipper Warburton could not fully remember the conversation but conceded the art of captaincy includes knowing when to intervene with officials - and when to stay quiet. "I spoke to him just before coming to the press conference", Gatland said.

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah condemned the incident in a series of tweets and said a possibility of backlash on Kashmiris elsewhere couldn't be ruled out.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also asked for investigation into lapses in security.

Defence minister Arun Jaitley said the "terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatra is the most reprehensible act". The government had blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attack. "The bus was on way to Jammu from Baltal and was not part of the convoy", a police statement said. According to preliminary reports, all the deceased persons were from Gujarat.

The bus that was attacked had come from Sonmarg. A bus carrying yatris was on the highway when the incident occurred.

The annual yatra to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas began from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal amidst tight security arrangements on June 29. The one thing we had all feared this year during the yatra.

The 40-day yatra is scheduled to end on August 7, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.

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