Amarnath yatra terror attack: Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed in Jammu and Kashmir (AFP)
Security forces have launched a massive hunt to track down Lashkar-e-Taiba or LeT commander and Pakistani national Abu Ismail, who has emerged as the mastermind of the attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims. Operations have been launched, mainly in south Kashmir locations, to track down Abu Ismail as investigations including communication intercepts have pointed out to his involvement in the attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims, a senior police officer said.
Seven pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 were injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district on Monday evening. The officer said the attack in Anantnag appears to be a reprisal for killing of several LeT militants including Bashir Lashkari in an encounter with security forces earlier this month.
"The terrorists are frustrated at the back-to-back losses suffered by them during counter-insurgency operations over the past month or so and have now resorted to attacking civilians and tourists," he said.
According to the officer, Abu Ismail has been active in Kashmir for several years and moved base to south Kashmir more than a year ago. The attack came the same day when police announced the arrest of a module of LeT including a terrorist from Muzaffaranagar in Uttar Pradesh.
LeT has not only distanced itself from the attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims but also condemned the attack. LeT spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi, while condemning the attack on pilgrims, has said, "It is against Islamic teachings". "The attack on the pilgrims is highly reprehensible act. Islam does not allow violence against any faith," he said.