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Terror Attack on Bus: Three Foreign Terrorists Involved: Sources

Terror Attack on Bus: Three Foreign Terrorists Involved: Sources

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 10: Three foreign terrorists were believed to have been involved in the attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi on Sunday evening in which 10 persons including the driver of the bus, were killed and at least 33 others injured, official sources said on Monday.

So far, six people have been detained for questioning in connection with the terror attack case. The sources said at least three terror groups were operating in the region. Unconfirmed reports say at least two terrorists are hiding in the upper (and forested, making it difficult to access and search) reaches of the Reasi region. A massive search op is underway to locate them.

Sources also said the terrorists used M4 carbines – American-made assault rifles developed in the 1980s and used extensively by militaries worldwide, including a variant reportedly in service with Pakistani special forces and the Special Security Unit of the Sindh Police.

A CCTV footage showing the moments leading up to the Reasi terror attack has emerged providing insights into the sequence of events before the deadly attack.

The bus carrying 53 pilgrims plunged into a deep gorge after an ambush by terrorists on Sunday. The terrorists opened fire at the bus when it was en route from Shiv Khori temple to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra near Teryath village in Poni area and it plunged into the deep gorge following the gunfire. Terrorists targeted the bus as it approached a bend, a pattern observed in previous attacks in Rajouri and Poonch.

Exploiting the slow speed of vehicles, they unleashed indiscriminate fire to inflict maximum harm before retreating into dense foliage, a challenge increasingly prevalent in the Jammu region. The dense mountainous foliage provides cover for the enemy, granting them an advantage in evading detection.

According to sources, the bus was targeted by the terrorists when it came near a bend as the terrorists take advantage of a vehicle coming at a slow speed and then start firing indiscriminately to cause maximum damage. They follow this attack pattern because it helps them to disappear in the thick foliage, a challenge now evident in the Jammu region.

The sources said in the face of the terrorist attack, the driver of the bus carrying pilgrims showed remarkable courage when bullets started spraying in front of him, according to sources. Despite being targeted by gunfire, the driver tried to steer the bus to safety.

A survivor among the bus passengers said, “After having darshan at Mata Vaishno Devi, I went to Shiv Khori. While returning from there, after 4-5 km, bullets were fired on our bus. The firing did not stop even after our bus fell into the ditch. The driver was shot and then some people were also injured in the firing.” Dasanoo Rajbagh, who was behind the wheels, succumbed to the attackers’ bullets, leading the bus to veer off the road and plunge into a deep gorge.

The security forces have deployed a total of 11 teams, each operating along two different axes. The police have leads and inputs guiding the actions of these teams. Additionally, efforts are underway to actively develop additional leads. After Sunday’s attack, security has been heightened in the area, and security forces are now using drones to search for terrorists. After the Reasi attack, additional forces were deployed at nearby combat outposts of the Indian Army. Currently, a search operation is underway.

Forces were dispatched from various locations to reinforce security measures. Currently, a search operation is underway for terrorists. Earlier Sunday, the injured were swiftly transported to nearby medical facilities for treatment. Local authorities, including senior police officials and security forces, promptly responded to the scene, cordoning off the area and initiating investigations.

On Sunday, prompt rescue operations were initiated, and the injured were swiftly transported to nearby medical facilities for treatment. Local authorities, including senior police officials and security forces, promptly responded to the scene, cordoning off the area and initiating investigations.

The attack marks a significant escalation in violence in the region. Reasi district has been relatively untouched by terrorist activities compared to neighbouring Rajouri and Poonch. The attack has set alarm bells ringing in the top levels of India’s intelligence services, particularly since it came on the day Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister for a record third consecutive time.

Earlier, SSP Reasi Mohita Sharma said, “Initial reports suggest that terrorists fired upon the passenger bus going from Shiv Khori to Katra. Due to the firing, the bus driver lost balance of the bus and it fell into gorge. 33 people were injured in the incident. Rescue operation has been completed. The identities of the passengers have not been confirmed yet, they are not locals. Shiv Khori shrine was secured and area domination was done.”

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken stock of the situation and has asked the Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha to constantly monitor it. Taking to X, the J&K LG said those behind this heinous act will be punished soon. He added, “Hon’ble PM has also directed that all the injured are provided the best possible medical care & assistance,” “I strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack on a bus in Reasi. My condolences to the family members of the martyred civilians. Our security forces and police have launched a joint operation to hunt down the terrorists,” Mr Sinha said.

The President, the Prime Minister and other leaders have condemned the terror attack on the bus and have assured of strict punishment to the guilty. The President Droupadi Murmu said the attack on the bus carrying pilgrims was a “dastardly act” and that the nation stood with the victims’ families. “I am anguished by the terrorist attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. This dastardly act is a crime against humanity, and must be condemned in the strongest words. The nation stands with the families of the victims. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Ms Murmu said in a post on X.

Union Minister Amit Shah said those involved in the dastardly terror attack on pilgrims would not be spared and would face the wrath of the law. Soon after taking oath as Union Minister for the second time on Sunday, Mr Shah said he had spoken to Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and DGP R R Swain and took stock of the situation arising after the terror attack that has claimed eight lives so far.

“Deeply pained by the incident of the attack on pilgrims in Reasi, J&K. Spoke to the Lieutenant Governor and the DGP, J&K, and inquired about the incident. The culprits of this dastardly attack will not be spared and will face the wrath of the law,” he wrote on ‘X’. Mr Shah said the local administration is working on a war footing to provide immediate medical attention.

The Union Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday described the terror attack as “extremely reprehensible”.

“The attack on the bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi, Jammu and Kashmir is extremely reprehensible,” Mr Singh said on ‘X’. “My heart goes out to the families of those who have lost their loved ones in this heinous act against pilgrims. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.

The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed his deepest condolences to all the bereaved families and hoped for the speedy recovery of the injured. Calling the incident ‘cowardly’, he said the incident brings out true picture of the worrying security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge also condemned the gruesome terror attack on our people and deliberate affront to National Security.



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