Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has called the Amarnath Yatra attack "an assault on our values and traditions".
 Amarnath Yatra attack

A day after seven pilgrims returning from the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir were killed by terrorists who attacked their bus, a new batch of about 3000 pilgrims has left Jammu for the shrine. Security vehicles escorting them have been doubled. 

At about 8.20 on Monday evening, terrorists surrounded the bus and opened fire. Seven pilgrims, mostly women were killed and 19 people were injured. The bodies of those who died, most of the injured and the rest of the passengers of the bus are being flown from Srinagar to Gujarat by a special plane this morning.

Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to this story:

  • A top Jammu and Kashmir police officer has said that the terrorists who attacked the bus belonged to terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba. A Pakistani terrorist called Abu Ismail was the mastermind of the attack, the officer, Muneer Khan, has told NDTV.
  • Union minister Jitendra Singh refused to comment. "Not proper for me to discuss publicly on who is behind attack right now, intelligence will take cognizance," the minister said.
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is holding a meeting at his home in Delhi to review security. In Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Narinder Nath Vohra will chair a meeting to review security for the Amarnath Yatra, which has only once before been attacked by terrorists, in August 2000.
  • A bandh has been called in Jammu today to protest against the attack, one of the worst terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has called the attack "an assault on our values and traditions" and said, "The head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame."
  • Most of the passengers of the bus, registered in Gujarat, are from Surat. Five of those killed in the attack were from Gujarat and two from Maharashtra. Five of the seven people killed were women. 
  • A letter from a top police officer to other security officials had warned of an intelligence alert that said "terrorists have been directed to eliminate 100 to 150 pilgrims... with the purpose of flaring communal tension in the country."
  • The police said the bus was not part of the official Amarnath Yatra tour and the pilgrims travelling in it had not registered, important security details. Vehicles that are part of the official Yatra are escorted by security forces to the shrine and back.
  • Yatra buses are also banned from travelling after 7 pm. The bus attacked had been delayed because of a breakdown.
  • "Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone. India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The 40-day-long Yatra to the cave of Amarnath high in the mountains of South Kashmir commenced on June 28. About a lakh have already visited the shrine this year. The pilgrimage takes place every year under tight security that includes about 40,000 troops guarding the route and a satellite tracking system.

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