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Terror threat looms over Amarnath Yatra, 20 militants sneak into valley from PoK

Ahead of annual Amarnath Yatra, the intelligence agencies have learned that 20 militants mostly affiliated to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are looking to carry out terror attacks on the pilgrimage.

Issuing a specific alert, the intelligence agencies have informed that the terrorists have sneaked into the valley in two groups from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). If sources are to be believed, the LeT terrorists could attack Kangan area.

Following the intelligence report, the security forces have been asked to remain on a high alert and maintain vigil around sensitive security installations across the state.

Last year, around 10 devotees including six women from Gujarat and Mahasrashtra lost their lives after Lashkar militants had unleashed a terror attack on a bus carrying Amarnth pilgrims. The bus bearing the registration number GJ09Z 9976 was attacked around 8.20 pm near Khanabal when it was on its way to from Srinagar-Jammu.

In 2001 as well, the Amarnath yatra was targeted when terrorists had struck in the Sheshnag area close to the holy cave of Amarnath, killing 13 people. Prior to that, terrorists had attack Amarnath pilgrims on August 1, 2000 in Pahalgam area, killing 30 people, who also included porters.

Notably, more than three lakh pilgrims visit the Amarnath shrine every year and the administration is taking all steps to provide facilities for them. Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army chief General Bipin Rawat visited Baltal Base Camp to review security arrangements for Amarnath Yatra.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also expected to review security arrangements for the forthcoming yatra. The two-month-long pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath will commence on June 28.