16 Hindu pilgrims killed in held Kashmir bus crash

Bus taking pilgrims to a Himalayan cave revered as the abode of Lord Shiva plunges into a gorge


Afp July 16, 2017
Indian police and locals carry injured people from the site of a bus crash. PHOTO:AFP

SRINAGAR: At least 16 Hindu pilgrims were killed and many more injured on Sunday in a bus crash in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK).

"Sixteen people are now confirmed dead, 19 with serious injuries and eight others with minor injuries," police said in a statement.

The bus plunged into a gorge. Hundreds of Hindus make the annual pilgrimage to a Himalayan cave revered as the abode of Lord Shiva.

Some of the worst injured are being airlifted to hospital, while others were taken to local clinics for treatment.

The tragedy came as another Hindu pilgrim died Sunday from injuries sustained six days ago when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a bus full of worshippers.

"One lady who was injured in the July 10 attack succumbed to her injuries in hospital," Shesh Paul Vaid, the state's director general of police, told AFP.

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Her death takes the toll from Monday's attack to eight, with seven women and one man killed in the late-night assault.

Tens of thousands of Hindus from all over India travel to IOK  every year to visit a phallus-shaped ice formation in the Amarnath caves that is worshipped as a symbol of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

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