More Hindu pilgrims head to cave shrine despite attack
July 12 2017 11:52 AM
Kashmir
An Indian Border Security Force soldier stands guard on top of a hill in Chandanwari in Anantnag district during the annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine cave.

DPA/Srinagar

A new batch of Hindu pilgrims left on Wednesday for the cave shrine of Amarnath in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, police said, undeterred by a terrorist attack that killed seven people and injured 19. 
The Amarnath cave shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located at a height of 3,888 metres in the Himalayas in the Muslim-majority state. Thousands of Hindus travel to the shrine every summer in an annual ritual. 
"A batch of 3,791 yatris (pilgrims) has left the camp in Jammu today in over a 100 vehicles including buses in a convoy escorted by the police and paramilitary," a senior police officer said. 
"The yatra (pilgrimage) will continue. The pilgrims insist it is not suspended for a day ... Their safety and security will be ensured," Jitender Singh, federal minister attached to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, said at a press briefing in state capital Srinagar. 
Meanwhile, large parts of Srinagar were placed in curfew-like restrictions on Wednesday with shops and schools closed after the killing of three suspected militants by security forces on the outskirts of the city. 
Police said the militants were local youth from the rebel Hizbul Mujahideen group. 
Stone pelting by protesters was reported from some areas after the militants were killed in an exchange of fire on Tuesday night in a village in Badgam district. 
The Indian Army has stepped up anti-insurgency operations in recent weeks, with the deployment of 5,000 additional troops in the volatile region.



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