While confirming that four terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba were involved in the Amarnath yatra attack, Union Home Ministry officials say that two were from Pakistan. On Monday terrorists killed seven Amarnath yatris.
There were two local terrorists involved in the attack, official sources also confirmed. A massive manhunt has been launched to find the four terrorists and their master Abu Ismail, officials also said. The terrorists were on motorcycles, the probe has also found.
They said the Gujarat registered bus, which was attacked, reached at Jammu on 7 July and got registered at Amarnath shrine facilitation centre. Initially, the bus was part of the regular convoy of the pilgrims and travelled together till Baltal. The pilgrims in the bus paid their obeisance at the cave shrine on 8 July and returned. On the way back, the pilgrims left the convoy and drove to Srinagar. The Gujarati pilgrims stayed in Srinagar for two days as tourists.
On 10 July, around 4:30pm, they left Srinagar for Katra. The vehicle got punctured at a place 10kms away from Khanabal around 6:30pm. Then the passengers went down and had food at a roadside eatery. When the bus resumed its journey, it came under attack from the terrorists at Khanabal around 8:17pm. Facing the bullets, the driver of the bus, Salim Sheikh, charged past the area but had to face another group of terrorists after crossing just 75 metres.
The driver again did not stop the bus despite facing the terrorist attack for the second time in quick succession. The bus was finally stopped at a police point after a few kilometres and the policemen on duty took the pilgrims to the Anantnag police line where the injured were given first aid before being shifted to a hospital.