NEW DELHI — India is investigating an attack where suspected militants shot at a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing nine and injuring 33, officials said Monday.

Nine people have died and 33 injured after suspected militants fired on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims in the Indian federal territory of Jammu and Kashmir, police officials said.

The attack caused the bus to fall into a deep gorge on Sunday in the Reasi district of Jammu province. The bus was taking pilgrims to the base camp of the Mata Vaishno Devi temple.

The National Investigation Agency is looking into the attack, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. Security forces are also searching for those responsible.

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Gov. Manoj Sinha announced compensation of $11,975 for the families of those killed and nearly $600 for those injured.

Federal minister Amit Shah said he is in contact with Sinha and that the local administration is providing quick medical care. “The culprits of this terrible attack will be punished,” he posted on the social media platform X.

A police officer said some victims had gunshot wounds and blamed the attack on Muslim militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. No group has claimed responsibility yet.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence or to merge with Pakistan. Most Muslim Kashmiris support uniting the territory under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

New Delhi says the Kashmir militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies this, and most Kashmiris see it as a freedom struggle.

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

India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed, each control part of Kashmir but both claim the entire territory.

Published: 10th June 2024

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