Srinagar: At least seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag on Monday evening when they were attacked by militants.

The attack is said to have taken place in Batingu area when militants opened fire at the bus carrying yatris on the highway.

The bus had come from Sonamarg. The pilgrims were on their way back after visiting the Amarnath shrine.

Srinagar-Jammu highway has been shut after the terror attack.

A police official was quoted as saying by PTI that among those killed, five were women.

“At 8.20 pm today, the militants attacked an armoured car of the police, an official said. When the police fired back, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately,” the official added.

“In the firing by militants, seven people, five of them women, were killed, and another seven injured,” the official said.

The police claimed the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on a highway after 7 pm.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted about the incident and said “pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone… India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate.”

He also spoke to Chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Governor and Chief Minister of J&K regarding the attack and was apprised of the ground situation.

Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley​ too tweeted:

Amarnath yatra was resumed from Jammu yesterday after a day-long suspension due to apprehensions of a law-and-order situation in the Kashmir Valley.

The authorities had on Saturday clamped a curfew in three towns of the Kashmir Valley, including Tral, and had imposed restrictions on the movement of people in the rest of the Valley to foil the separatists’ plan to take out a rally to mark the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani.

Pilgrims undertake the yatra every year to pay obeisance to the ice-lingam of Lord Shiva at the cave shrine at an altitude of 3,888 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas.

The cave shrine is located at a distance of 46 kms from Pahalgam and 14 kms from Baltal.

The 40-day yatra had began on June 28.

The pilgrimage is scheduled to conclude on the Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.

The authorities this time are said to have mobilised ‘highest level’ of security measures, including satellite-tracking.