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Nine Hindu pilgrims killed in Jammu bus attack

Search operation under way to track down attackers

June 11, 2024 00:00:00

Picture shows the ill-fated bus — AP

REASI, June 10 (BBC): Nine people have died and 33 injured after suspected militants fired on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims in the Indian federal territory of Jammu and Kashmir, police officials said.

Officials had initially said after the incident on Sunday that the death toll was 10, but revised the figure later. They said that the driver lost control after the attack, causing the bus to plunge into a gorge in Reasi district of Jammu.

While rescue operations have concluded, a search operation by the Indian army and police is under way to track down the attackers. Officials said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken "stock of the situation" and asked for the best medical care to be provided to the injured.

"All those behind this heinous act will be punished soon," Manoj Sinha, the region's top administrator, wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Mr Sinha has announced a compensation of 1m rupees ($12000; £9400) to the next of kin of the deceased and 50,000 rupees to the injured.

The bus was on its way to the base camp of the famous Hindu shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi when it was fired upon. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet but Mohita Sharma, the district police chief, told Reuters that suspected militants had "ambushed the bus".

The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for over six decades. Since 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two wars over the Muslim-majority territory, which both claim in full but control in part.

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