June 22, 2009 12:22:13 pm
Army on Monday foiled militants bid to target the Amarnath yatra by detecting and defusing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Panthal,155 kms from here.
Militants had planted the high intensity IED in Panthal area to target a convoy of the Amarnath Yatra,they said.
However,IED was detected by the Roap Opening Party (RoP) of Army,which is guarding the highway,they said,adding traffic was stopped at Panthal and cavalcade of 53 vehicles carrying 1,703 pilgrims was halted,they said.
Later,special bomb disposal squad of army defused the IED on the spot,they said.
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The yatra and traffic was resumed after one hour-long halt till 1015 hours,they said.
Meanwhile,A fresh batch of 1,703 pilgrims left Jammu on Monday for their onward journey to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir.
The batch comprising of 1,185 men,384 women,61 children and 73 sadhus left in 53 vehicles,including 40 buses,from the base camp at Bhagwati Nagar here at around 0450 hours amid tight security,officials said. They will travel through the Baltal route.
With today’s batch,a total of 7,793 pilgrims have left Jammu for the Shrine since the beginning of the Yatra on June 15.
The Yatra,which was suspended for initial three days due to bad weather in Kashmir valley,resumed on June 19.
At present,the authorities were allowing only the Baltal route for the annual pilgrimage as the Pahalgam route has not been fully cleared of snow.
As per the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) officials over 45,000 pilgrims have had darshan of the ice lingum of lord Shiva at 3,888 meters high Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir till Monday morning.
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