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Biggest attack on Amarnath yatris in years leaves 7 pilgrims dead; yatra to continue
A bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims was attacked by terrorists in Anantnag district on Monday night at around 8.20 pm. The bus was reportedly not a part of the main yatra convoy.

The attack left 7 pilgrims dead and 32 others injured. The people who were killed after terrorists opened fire on the bus included six women. The pilgrims were returning back after visiting the holy shrine of Amarnath which is located 50 km from Pahalgam.

Chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti, in a statement said, "This is an assault on our values and traditions which we hold dear. We will leave no stone unturned to root out the perpetrators of this heinous crime."

The bus that was fired upon was registered in Gujarat. According to the police the bus had violated rules of the pilgrimage as buses are banned from plying on the highway after 7 pm.

As per a PTI report, an unknown number of terrorists first opened fire at an armoured police car. After the occupants of the police car retaliated the terrorists started firing indiscriminately in which the pilgrims were hit.

The attack occurred at Batengoo on the bus which was carrying 60-70 pilgrims from Baltal, one of the base camps of the yatra, to Jammu. All the victims were from Gujarat. The dead bodies of the seven victims killed in the attack have been airlifted to New Delhi, as per PTI.

The deceased have been identified as Hasuben Ratila Patal, Surakha Ben and Lakshimiben S Patal from Valsad; Ratan Zeena Bhai Patal of Daman and Prajapati Champaben of Navsari; Nirmala Ben Thakor, a resident of Palghar; and Usha Mohanla Sonkar from Danu, according to a J&K police spokesperson.

In the meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Mandeep Bhandari has said that the yatra would continue from Jammu as per plans. However, security has been beefed up and internet services have been suspended in Jammu. Only BSNL broadband services are working with limited speed, as reported by ANI.

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