At least nine pilgrims, including a child, were killed, and 33 other passengers were injured after terrorists opened fire at a bus carrying pilgrims from Shiv Khori cave shrine to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district on Sunday evening.

Reasi: The damaged bus after it plunged into a gorge following an alleged attack by suspected terrorists, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.(PTI)

9 killed, 33 injured as terrorists ambush bus carrying pilgrims in J&K’s Reasi

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Ambushed by the terrorists, the 53-seater bus veered off the road and plunged into a deep gorge at around 6:15 pm on Sunday.

“A group of militants attacked a Yatri bus coming from the Ransoo area of district Reasi. Due to the attack, the driver of the bus lost control, and the bus fell into a deep gorge near the Kanda area of Pouni. Due to the accident, nine people died, and 33 others were injured,” Reasi SSP Mohita Sharma said.

Here are the latest updates on the attack:

1. President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Ghulam Nabi Azad, condemned the dastardly attack and condoled the loss of lives.

2. Calling the act as a crime against humanity President Murmu said, “I am anguished by the terrorist attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. This dastardly act is a crime against humanity, and must be condemned in the strongest words. The nation stands with the families of the victims. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took stock of the situation arising out of the terror attack and directed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to constantly monitor the situation and ensure all possible help to the affected families. “The Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took stock of the situation and directed me to constantly monitor the situation and to ensure all possible assistance to the families,” Sinha said in a post on X. The LG further said that security forces have launched a joint operation to hunt down the terrorists and those behind the attack will be punished soon.

4. Soon after taking oath as Union Minister, Amit Shah condemned the attack and said that those involved in the dastardly terror attack will not be spared and will face the wrath of the law. Shah said that he had spoken to LG Sinha and DGP R R Swain and took stock of the situation.

5. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief over the attack and demanded an investigation into the incident. “Learnt that there has been an incident of attack on some pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir, and there have been consequently 9 deaths. The matter should be immediately investigated into. I convey my profound condolences to the victim families,” she said.

6. Terming the accident a “clear case of terror attack“, Reasi SSP Sharma said that a rescue operation was launched at the earliest, and the injured pilgrims were shifted to the nearby hospitals. The SSP further said that the identities of those killed and injured have not been ascertained yet, but they probably belonged to Uttar Pradesh.

7. The locals were among those who rushed to the spot and assisted the victims. Eyewitnesses shared harrowing accounts of the attack, with one survivor describing how the bus was barraged with 25 to 30 shots before it plunged down the gorge. Another witness recalled seeing a masked assailant in a red muffler firing on the bus.

8. The official further said that they usually remain on high alert and have fully secured the Shiv Khori temple with frequent conduct of area domination patrols in the adjoining areas. “We have also started firing practice for the Village Defence Guards and they all have been put on alert,” the SSP added.

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9. A joint security force, consisting of the police, army, and CRPF, has also set up a temporary operation headquarters at the accident site, and a multidimensional operation has been launched to target the attackers.

10. Several groups of people held protests in different areas of the Jammu division, including Reasi, against the terror attack and demanded stern action against the terrorists. Reasi district had been relatively untouched by terror activities as compared to neighbouring regions, including Rajouri and Poonch.

(With inputs from agencies)

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