Amarnath Yatra Attack: US condemns cowardly attack, vows to combat terror

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"This was when the word spread that there was a Yatra bus and terrorists targeted it at Batingu, around 12 kms from the point of breakdown", said home ministry officials giving details of a report sent from the Jammu and Kashmir police. "There were many injured and dead bodies laden in the bus, and she came to see everyone".

"It is unprecedented because such an attack hasn't happened before", said Siddiqui Wahid, an analyst and academician. "Safety and security of the pilgrims will be ensured", he told reporters.

The number of paramilitary personnel deployed this year has increased by 9,500. Singh said that "the Kashmir of 2017, like India of 2017, has a population of which over 65 per cent are below the age of 40".

On Tuesday, thousands of Hindus continued the religious pilgrimage undeterred, as Indian soldiers and police increased security along the Himalayan route for buses carrying pilgrims to the base camps where they start walking the path to the high mountain cave.

"This incident goes against the very grain of Kashmiri ethos", separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Farooq and Yasin Malik said in a joint statement.

He claimed that the role on sleeper cells of the Lashkar-e-Taiba or the Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence operating outside the state can not be ruled out. The attack was condemned by many countries including France and Bangladesh.

Several US lawmakers also condemned the attack and expressed compassion towards the victims' families.

Ismail masterminded the attack and was assisted by another Pakistani and two local militants, they said.

"An attack on religious freedom is an attack on the most fundamental right of liberty", a White House statement said. "I will wish him to look into the pages of history of his own party and how there have been unanimity on these occasions", Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. "Possibility of backlash can't be ignored", he said in a Twitter message.

"Deeply saddened at the cowardly attack on innocent #AmarnathYatra pilgrims".

A massive manhunt has been launched in Jammu and Kashmir to catch Ismail and his terror group members.