India is investigating suspected militant attack in Kashmir that killed nine people during a Hindi pilgrimage


NEW DELHI (AP) — India is investigating an attack in which suspected militants fired on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing nine and wounding 33, officials said Monday.

The attack caused the vehicle to overturn a deep gorge on Sunday in Reasi district of Jammu province. The bus was ferrying pilgrims to the base camp of the famous Hindu temple Mata Vaishno Devi.

A team from the National Investigation Agency has reached the site of the attack, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Security forces also tried to track down those believed to be responsible.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced compensation of $11,975 each for the families of the dead, and nearly $600 for the injured.

Federal Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday that he was in touch with Sinha and the local government provided prompt medical assistance. “The perpetrators of this dastardly attack will not be spared and will face the wrath of the law,” he posted on social media platform X.

A police officer said some of the victims had gunshot wounds and blamed it on Muslim militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which injured 33 others.

Rebel groups have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence or a merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebels’ goal of unifying the region either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

New Delhi insists that the armed forces in Kashmir are Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the accusation and most Kashmiris view it as a legitimate freedom struggle.

Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.

Nuclear rivals India and Pakistan each control part of Kashmir, but both claim the territory in its entirety.

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