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Terrorist Attack on Pilgrims in J&K Leaves 10 Dead, Sparks National Outrage



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At least 10 pilgrims, including a child, tragically lost their lives in a targeted terrorist attack in the district of Reasi, Jammu and Kashmir, as they were en route from the sacred Shiv Khori cave temple to the revered Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra.

The violent incident occurred late on Sunday when gunmen ambushed the 53-seater bus, causing it to careen off the road and plunge into a deep gorge. The attack, orchestrated near the Kanda area of Pouni, resulted in the death of nine individuals and left 33 others wounded.

Reasi’s Senior Superintendent of Police, Mohita Sharma, confirmed the details, highlighting the driver’s loss of control over the bus due to the ambush, leading to the tragic accident.

This distressing event serves as a haunting reminder of a similar occurrence back in 2017, when a bus transporting Amarnath pilgrims from Gujarat came under attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Quick thinking by the driver, Sheikh Saleem Gafoor, saved numerous lives despite the loss of seven pilgrims and injuries to 19 others.

The condemnation and expressions of grief poured in swiftly following the Reasi terrorist attack. Notable figures such as President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and various political leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Ghulam Nabi Azad, denounced the violent act and conveyed their condolences.

Bearing witness to the tragic incident, President Murmu denounced the attack as a heinous ‘crime against humanity,’ calling for resolute condemnation and solidarity with the victims’ families. Prime Minister Modi, in turn, directed immediate monitoring of the situation and the provision of comprehensive assistance to the affected families.

Security forces promptly initiated a joint operation to track down the perpetrators, assuring that those responsible would face justice. Rescue operations were also launched, with injured pilgrims receiving urgent medical attention in nearby hospitals.

Rachel Adams

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