India hunts militants after Hindu pilgrim attack

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024


HELD SRINAGAR: Indian soldiers in occupied Kashmir carried out a large-scale manhunt on Monday, the government said, a day after nine Hindu pilgrims were killed in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians for years.

Around an hour before Hindu-nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a third term in the capital New Delhi on Sunday evening, gunmen in occupied Kashmir ambushed the bus packed with Hindu pilgrims celebrating after visiting a popular shrine.

Police said Monday the attackers fired on the bus hitting the driver and three others, before it swerved off the mountain road into a ravine, killing nine including a child. Dozens were also wounded.

“Three of those injured and the driver who died had bullet injuries,” police officer Mohita Sharma told AFP, adding investigations continued.

Special forces and police officers were searching the Reasi area in the south of the disputed territory, deploying drones to scan the forested area from above.

Top government official Amit Shah—interior minister in the previous government, and who took the oath of office shortly after Modi—warned that the gunmen would “face the wrath of the law”. “The culprits of this dastardly attack will not be spared,” Shah said on social media late Sunday.