One Dead in Attack on Hindu Pilgrims in Indian Kashmir

July 18, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Yahoo News

Wire Service: AFP

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) - One person died and 15 were wounded in an attack by suspected Islamic militants on Hindu pilgrims trekking to a revered cave shrine in Indian Kashmir, an official said. ADVERTISEMENT

The grenade attack occurred Tuesday evening near the entrance to a mountain camp, and a local Kashmiri died of his injuries in hospital Wednesday morning, senior shrine official Madan Mantoo told AFP.

Most of those wounded in the blast in Baltal, around 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Srinagar, were local shopkeepers, labourers and vendors, and only one suffered serious injuries, said Mantoo.

Tens of thousands of Hindu devotees trek high into the Himalayan mountains to see a sacred phallus-shaped ice stalagmite form in a cave in the two-month summer pilgrimage, which began on July 1.

The fast-melting icicle resembles a fertility symbol known as a lingam and is worshipped as a representation of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.