Terrorists kill six Hindu pilgrims in India-held Kashmir

Terrorists kill six Hindu pilgrims in India-held Kashmir : Six terrorists were killed by terrorists Hindu pilgrims and injured 14 others on Monday in India-held Kashmir police told AFP after their bus was targeted.

The Indian Central Reserve Police Force, which is responsible for security during the annual two-month pilgrimage, reported that gunmen initially fired at the security checkpoint, but there were there were no injuries recorded.

“Militants further attacked the pilgrims’ bus at Batingu (six civilians killed and 14 injured) and escaped towards Arwani,” the CRPF released an announcement. The police added that they were pilgrims from the western region of the Indian states of Gujarat.

An New Delhi based security official who spoke anonymously, informed AFP that security officials were examining “all the angles including suspected Islamists”.

Terrorists kill six Hindu pilgrims in India-held Kashmir

A large number of Hindu pilgrims travel through mountain trails to reach Amarnath caves, which are around 3,900m above sea-level within Indian Kashmir every year.

Indian army soldiers stands guard at the site of shootout in Batengoo about 50 Kilometres (31.25 miles) south Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Gunmen sprayed bullets on a passenger bus bringing Hindu pilgrims back from a cave shrine in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Monday, killing at least seven of them, including five women, and wounding 14 others, police said. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

The devotees revere the natural formation of ice in the caves as an ode to Shiva who is the Hindu god of destruction.

“Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on the peaceful Amarnath Yatris (pilgrims) in Jammu and Kashmir,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

“India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate,” Modi said. The pilgrimage was previously targeted by militants including around 30 pilgrims being killed in 2000.

Former chief minister of the state Omar Abdullah urged “every right thinking Kashmiri” to “unequivocally” condemn the attack.

“This is a time to decide who we are. Are we ready to… take an oath. We will not tolerate murder and terror in our name,” Abdullah tweeted.

Mirwaiz Umar Faloooq, the head of the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, a coalition of political parties against the Indian rule over Kashmir, also condemned the attack.

“As the unfortunate news of the Yatris killing reaches us leadership and people of Kashmir are deeply disturbed and saddened and strongly condemn it,” Farooq tweeted on Twitter.

Chief ministers of Jammu as well as Kashmir state claimed that the attack was an “blot on all Muslims and Kashmiris”.

“Pilgrims travel to Kashmir every year for Yatra, despite the difficulties. Seven people were killed today. I’m not able to say anything to express my condolences,” Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed said to reporters while visiting wounded patients in the hospital.

Jammu and Kashmir which is India’s sole Muslim-majority state, has been under the control of the pro-Indian People’s Democratic Party, which has been in a coalition that is not popular with Modi’s the ruling Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Analysts say this has increased public discontent with Indian government in Kashmir.

The tensions also been rife since the first anniversary of death of the charismatic Rebel leader Burhan Wani, who was killed by security forces on the 8th of July 2016.

Died of the 23-year-old who had gained an enormous audience on the social networks, caused an outpouring of sorrow in Kashmir.

The attack on Monday was also secretly condemned by leaders of the separatist movement in Kashmir also condemning the incident, saying it “goes against the very grain of Kashmiri ethos”.

“The annual Amarnath Yatra has been going on peacefully for centuries and is part of our yearly rhythm and will remain so,” they stated in a joint declaration.

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