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Seven Hindu pilgrims killed in militant attack in Indian Kashmir

Seven Hindu pilgrims killed in militant attack in Indian Kashmir

When police retaliated, the terrorists fired indiscriminately, and a bus full of pilgrims returning from Amarnath was caught in the crossfire, according to the police.

In her statement, the chief minister said the vehemence with which every section of society, irrespective of ideology, condemned the killings shows that the ethos for which the State is known is intact and vibrant.

During Monday's attack, gunmen sprayed bullets on a passenger bus as it returned Hindu pilgrims from a cave shrine in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

As many as 21,000 paramilitary personnel in addition to state police forces have been deployed to provide security along pilgrimage routes. The bus, bearing Gujarat registration number, was on way from Baltal to Jammu when the attack took place. They said the driver kept driving the bus as it was being struck with bullets near the southern town of Anantnag on the main highway linking Kashmir with the rest of India.

The central ministers stressed that the entire country was with the Kashmiris and the pilgrims and that all arrangements for a safe and secure pilgrimage would continue with renewed vigor.

Meanwhile, it is also time for the government to tap into the growing disillusionment with Pakistan among ordinary Kashmiris, the former government official added.

He claimed that the role on sleeper cells of the Lashkar-e-Taiba or the Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence operating outside the state can not be ruled out.

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. "It's now our responsibility and challenge to make the State truly a model by strengthening these ideals and guarding them firmly", she said in her statement.

The banned militant organisation however had denied any role in the attack calling it, "against islamic teachings". "We're already telling them to come back home". What followed were violent protests, several months of curfew and an overall deterioration in Jammu and Kashmir's security situation.

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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