Six Hindu pilgrims killed in IHK bus attack

Amarnath Yatra attack 'act of cowards', says CM Vijay Rupani; alert sounded in Gujarat

Reports from the area said the firing took place near Khanabal chowk (which is almost a kilometre away from Batengoo) and the firing was still on. The police retaliated, but there were no injuries on either side.

However, a police source told the BBC the attack did not appear to be aimed at the bus.

"Thereafter, the militants again fired at a police patrol in which a passenger bus was hit by bullets", the statement said.

A bus carrying pilgrims was on the highway when the incident occurred.

Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also condemned the killings. The attack was condemned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, in a series of tweets, said, "Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K".

Security personnel stand guard after the terror attack on pilgrims on Monday.

He said he had spoken to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor N N Vohra on the issue, and assured them of all possible assistance. "These are enemies of Islam, these are terrorists, and the attack should be investigated".

Sonia Gandhi said that the attack was a crime against humanity and there should be probe into the lapses that led to it. India will never be intimidated by these terrorist cowards.

Ministry of Home Affairs called an emergency meeting and the security was beefed up in the Jammu and Kashmir. Superintendent of Police (Valsad) Sunil Joshi said, "We are trying to speak to the owner of the vehicle". In the backdrop of security situation in south Kashmir, the Amarnath Yatris were advised against travelling after 7 pm.

The attack took place at 8.20 pm. "This is the first time yatris have been targeted".

Police said the bus was not a part of the yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security.

The 90th and 40th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been rushed to the spot.

The one thing we had all feared this year during the yatra. "In spite of recent successes against militants & unprecedented force presence", he tweeted. In a joint statement, they said the incident went against the very grain of Kashmiri ethos.

Former Chief Minister and Opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the attack can not be condemned strongly enough. "My sympathies to the families & prayers for the injured", wrote Abdullah.

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