Tragedy in Kashmir: Hindu Pilgrims Killed in Suspected Militant Assault

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The occurrence of the suspected militant attack in Kashmir coincided with Narendra Modi's third oath ceremony as prime minister.

At least nine Hindu pilgrims lost their lives in India-controlled Kashmir on Sunday when the bus transporting them plunged into a deep gorge in what officials suspect was a militant attack.

The militants targeted the bus en route to the renowned Hindu temple Mata Vaishno Devi in the Reasi district, according to Vishesh Mahajan, a senior administrative officer.

"Militants ambushed the bus, opening fire indiscriminately. The bus veered into a gorge, resulting in the deaths of 9 pilgrims and injuries to 33," stated Mohita Sharma, the district police chief of Reasi.

The Associated Press reported that some victims sustained bullet wounds, as confirmed by a police officer. The officer attributed the attack to militants opposed to India's administration in Kashmir.

No group has claimed responsibility for the assault thus far.

The injured pilgrims received medical treatment, and an investigation to apprehend the attackers has been launched, as stated in a police announcement.

This incident occurred as Narendra Modi commenced his third term as prime minister, eliciting strong criticism from the opposition.

"This disgraceful incident underscores the alarming security situation in Jammu and Kashmir," remarked opposition leader Rahul Gandhi in a post on X.

The assault transpired a day after police chief RR Swain noted a decrease in the number of local militants in the region, although approximately 70 to 80 foreign militants remain active.

Kashmir remains a volatile area as insurgent factions persist in their struggle for Kashmir's sovereignty or integration with neighboring Pakistan.

The conflict has resulted in numerous casualties among civilians, insurgents, and government personnel.

India and Pakistan both administer portions of Kashmir, laying claim to the entire territory.