The Jammu and Kashmir Police today said that last month's attack on a bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims was carried out by three Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists and a local Kashmiri militant who were provided logistics support by locals. Three alleged conspirators who provided logistical help to four militants have been arrested by J&K Police's Special Investigation Team (SIT), Munir Khan, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, told the media here.
"Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in the attack and accused have been identified. Abu Ismail, a Pak militant of Lashkar, along with two other Pakistani militants and a local Kashmiri Lashkar militant carried out the attack," Khan said.
Another militant in the group of four had been identified as Yawar, a local recruiter for the LeT, the police said. Efforts are on to identify the other two. The police also released pictures of Abu Ismail and Yawar.
Khan said the police have arrested three people in connection with the July 10 attack where eight pilgrims were killed. "Happy to tell you that three accused persons have been arrested and they have completely revealed everything. Accused persons have been produced before a court and they are currently under police remand," he said.
The the three "co-conspirators"-- Bilal Ahmed Reshi, Aizaj Wagey and Zahoor Ahmed --had carried out reconnaissance exercises and chosen Botengo near Khanbal as the spot where the attack could be carried out, he added.
The trio had also provided shelter to the four militants in Khudwani and Sriguffwara of South Kashmir, Khan said.
Bilal's elder brother Adil, an alleged Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist, was killed by security forces earlier this year.
He said the attack was first planned on July 9 but "there was no movement of CRPF or yatri vehicle in isolation" on that day.
The officer said that the police are closing in on main accused and will neutralise them soon. "It can be today, tomorrow," he said.
"They had code word 'Shaukat' for yatri vehicle, 'Bilal' for CRPF vehicle. It was purely a terrorist act. There was yatri vehicle that day so they attacked it, had there been CRPF vehicle they would've attacked that, they had planned it," Khan said.
Eight people were killed when the militants fired at a bus carrying the pilgrims, returning from their Amarnath yatra, on the night of July 10 in Anantnag.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police had constituted an SIT led by Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir) Swayam Prakash Pani to probe the attack on the pilgrims.