Jammu, June 10 -- Sources report that the attack on a civilian bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Sunday evening involved three foreign terrorists. The region is known to have three active terror groups.

There are unverified reports of at least two terrorists taking refuge in the forested upper areas of Reasi, which are challenging to navigate and search. An operation is currently in progress to find them.

It has been indicated that the attackers were armed with M4 carbines, which are American-made rifles extensively used by military forces globally. This includes a version that is said to be utilised by Pakistani special forces and the Sindh Police's Special Security Unit.

Initially, three clandestine organisations linked to the proscribed groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the assault on pilgrims in Jammu. However, they withdrew their claims following the public outcry over the incident, which resulted in nine deaths, including that of a two-year-old child.

The groups-People's Anti-Facist Force, Revival of Resistance, and The Resistance Front-had proclaimed their involvement via social media in the attack on the bus traveling from Shiv Khori to Katra in Reasi. The attack led to the bus falling into a gorge near Teryath village, causing nine deaths and injuring 41 people.

Five of the deceased were killed by gunfire, and ten others are being treated in hospitals within the Jammu region. After images of the young victim surfaced online, leading to widespread denunciation, the groups retracted their statements and attempted to attribute the attack to government entities, as per a senior official.

This event has raised renewed concerns about terrorism and civilian safety in the area, underscoring the need for improved security and vigilance.

On Monday, authorities identified the nine individuals. The victims include four residents of Rajasthan, among them a two-year-old boy, and three from Uttar Pradesh.

Among the 41 injured pilgrims, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, ten are being treated for gunshot wounds across three hospitals in Jammu and Reasi districts.

The attack occurred around 6:10 pm on Sunday when terrorists fired upon the bus, resulting in nine fatalities and several injuries. The bus, which was en route from the Shiv Khori temple to Katra, veered off the road and plunged into a gorge near Teryath village.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police for Reasi, Vishesh Paul Mahajan, confirmed the identities of all nine victims, including the bus driver and conductor. Driver Vijay Kumar hailed from the Dasanoo Rajbagh village while conductor Arun Kumar was a native of Kandera village in Katra, both in Reasi district.

The other victims are Rajinder Prasad Pandey Sawhney, Mamta Sawhney, Pooja Sawhney and her two-year-old son Titu Sawhney -- all residents of Jaipur in Rajasthan -- and Shivam Gupta, Ruby and 14-year-old Anurag Verma from Uttar Pradesh.

Mahajan said the district administration is sending the bodies to their respective states.

Mahajan also noted that the injured, ranging in age from three to fifty, are in stable condition after surgeries, with 18 receiving care in Jammu's Government Medical College, 14 in Narayana Hospital, and nine in Reasi's district hospital. The injured include individuals from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan. with agency inputs

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Millennium Post.