Stone-pelters in Kashmir target tourists

A day after 20 people, including four civilians, were killed in anti-terror operations in south Kashmir, many panic-stricken tourists fled Srinagar, even as the Valley observed a complete shutdown called by separatists.

Most of the tourists reached the airport early in the morning to escape attacks by stone-pelters who had targeted tourists in three places on Sunday. Late Sunday night, two buses carrying visitors from Indonesia were pelted with stones near Dal Lake. Prompt action by houseboat owners saved them. Two women tourists from Abu Dhabi had to be hospitalised after suffering head injuries in stone-pelting on their cab.

In another incident, a 100-strong mob stoned a tourist bus at Awantipora in Pulwama district, injuring two women from UP. The attack took place on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway around 9pm when the bus which was taking tourists on a city tour. Two women were taken to Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar and given first-aid.

In a setback to the J-K tourism sector ahead of the peak season, several hotels, including five-stars, received a large number of cancellation calls from travel agents in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities on Monday.

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