Amarnath Yatris Have Faced Attacks Before: A Short History
The latest attacks on Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening, with seven being killed and several injured in two separate attacks by terrorists, bring to mind similar attacks in the past on these yatris. An official said:
Here are some of prominent terror attacks that have been carried out against Amarnath yatris in previous years:
2002: 8 Amarnath Yatris Dead, 30 Injured
Despite the fact that nearly 15,000 security personnel and policemen were deployed to offer protection to the Amarnath pilgrims in 2002, a terrorist attack could not be averted – 8 were killed and 30 were injured. The attack took place before dawn on the Nunwan camp on the way to the Amarnath shrine, according to a report by Frontline.
2001: At Least Six Pilgrims Were Killed
A militant hurled two grenades at a camp and later opened fire near the Amarnath shrine on the night of 20 July 2001, killing nearly 13 people, including three women yatris and two police officers. The attack took place around 1:25 am near Sheshnag, one of the highest stops on the way to the Amarnath cave, a police spokesman told The Hindu. Of those killed, six were pilgrims, according to a TOI report.
2000: 21 Amarnath Pilgrims Killed
In the early hours of 2 August 2000, terrorists opened fire on over 95 people, although official figures claimed the death toll to be 89. The series of attacks, which began on the night of 1 August, were believed to be planned.
The terrorists, said to have been opposed to the local terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen’s ceasefire declaration, not only attacked the pilgrim base camp at Pahalgam, but later also attacked five other places in the Valley, killing at least 58 people, according to a report by The Tribune. A total of 32 people were killed in the base camp strike at Pahalgam, of which 21 were Amarnath yatris.
(With inputs from PTI, The Hindu, The Tribune, Frontline)
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