Srinagar, July 11 (newsin.asia): Terrorists belonging to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) sprayed bullets on a passenger bus bringing Hindu pilgrims back from a cave shrine in India-held Kashmir on Monday, killing at least seven of them, including five women, and wounding 13 others, the Kashmir police said.
The attack had taken place when there were cross-border shooting incidents involving Pakistani and Indian troops and China had hinted that it could militarily intervene in “disputed” areas. Indian Kashmir, which has borders with Pakistan and China, is considered to be “disputed’ by China and Pakistan.
A police officer said the bus was carrying more than 50 people on the annual pilgrimage. He blamed the attack on militants who are fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir.
The shooting happened near the southern Anantnag town on the main highway linking the India-held Kashmir with the rest of the country. The police officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to reporters.
The pilgrims were returning after paying obeisance at the shrine nestled in the Himalayas at a height of 13,500 feet when they were attacked.
The shooting came despite the deployment of thousands of Indian Army and paramilitary soldiers on the pilgrimage route.
The suspected militants first attacked a police armoured vehicle, and the officers in the vehicle returned fire, a police statement said. “Thereafter, the militants again fired at a police patrol in which a passenger bus was hit by bullets. Six persons died,” the statement said.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and tweeted that “India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate.” He also said his thoughts were with all those who lost loved ones in the attack.
“My prayers with the injured,” he tweeted., adding: “India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate.
(The picture at the top shows the pilgrims’ bus which was attacked)