Seven pilgrims have been killed and 15 injured in the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag.
Srinagar: Seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured when the bus they were returning in from the shrine was attacked by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district on Monday evening. Six of the seven who died in the attack were women, said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. "We were sleeping, there was firing from both sides," said one of the injured pilgrims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack and tweeted "India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate".
Following are the 10 developments in this big story:
The terrorists first opened fire an armoured police car whose occupants fired back. The pilgrims were then hit as the terrorists fired indiscriminately, news agency PTI said.
Police said the attack was aimed at security forces and not the pilgrims.The police claimed the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on a highway after 7 pm, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
The bus, which was carrying about 60 pilgrims from Gujarat and Maharashtra, was reportedly not a part of the main convoy, said the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF. The main yatra convoy is escorted by the CRPF, which rushed troops to the spot after the attack.
The bus had started from Valsad in Gujarat on July 2. The pilgrims had visited the shrine on Saturday and were on their way to Katra in Jammu.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the attack was an assault on 'our values and traditions which we hold dear'. "We will leave no stone unturned to root out the perpetrators of this heinous crime," she said.
The injured have been taken to the Army Base Hospital in Anantnag. Chief Minister Mufti visited the hospital close to midnight to meet them.
The Jammu-based political parties and Chambers of Commerce have called for a day-long bandh (shut down). All schools and colleges have been shut for two days.
The Amarnath Yatra, amid heavy security, began on June 28 from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal. Nearly 1.2 lakh pilgrims have registered themselves for the 45-day long yatra this year.