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J&K: Bus Carrying Pilgrims to Shiv Khori Temple Plunges into Gorge After Suspected Militant Attack, Nine Dead

On Sunday evening, a bus carrying pilgrims to the Shiv Khori temple in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district plunged into a deep gorge following a suspected militant attack. The incident occurred around 6:15 PM in Teryath village, Poni area, resulting in the deaths of nine people and injuring 33 others.

The 53-seater bus, traveling from the Shiv Khori temple to Katra, came under fire from suspected militants, causing the driver to lose control and the bus to veer off the road into a steep gorge. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Reasi, Mohita Sharma, reported that the attackers fired multiple rounds at the bus, hitting the driver.

“A large-scale rescue operation was immediately launched upon receiving news of the attack,” said SSP Sharma. Reinforcements from the police, army, and paramilitary forces were rushed to the site to assist in the rescue efforts. The injured passengers were transported to the district hospital in Reasi for medical treatment.

SSP Sharma added, “This is an unfortunate incident in which nine persons are feared dead and 33 others injured. Prima facie it looks like terrorists were waiting for the bus and attacked it on the highway.”

The bus, identified as JK02E-3485, routinely plied between Shiv Khori and Katra and had never encountered such a tragic incident before. The security grid has launched an operation to locate the attackers.

The attack has drawn strong condemnation from various political leaders. Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed their outrage. “Terrible news from Reasi in J&K where 10 yatris have reportedly lost their lives & many more are injured after a terror attack on a bus,” Omar Abdullah wrote on his Facebook wall. “I unequivocally condemn this attack.”

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also condemned the attack, stating, “Even while PM, Shri Narendra Modi and his NDA Government get sworn in and heads of several countries are in the country, a dastardly terrorist attack on a bus carrying pilgrims has resulted in loss of lives of at least 10 Indians.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi described the incident as extremely saddening and a true reflection of the worrying security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I express my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and hope for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.

Security forces remain on high alert in the region, and senior police and administrative officials are camping in the village to monitor the situation. The pilgrims were on their way to Katra after visiting the Shiv Khori temple when the attack occurred. Residents reported hearing nearly 50 gunshots in the area.

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