19 dead as train hits bus carrying Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A passenger train crashed into a bus carrying Sikh pilgrims at an unmanned railway crossing in eastern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 19 people and injuring several others, police and rescue officials said.

The accident happened in the district of Sheikhupura in Punjab province, Raja Ijaz, an official at the state-run emergency service, said. Ghazi Salahuddin, the district police chief, said the dead and injured were transported to a nearby hospital.

Officials said the Sikh pilgrims were from the northwestern city of Peshawar and were returning from the shrine of Nankana Sahib, in Sheikupura.

Sikhs have several shrines of their religious leaders in Pakistan. One, of Sikh founder Guru Nanak, is located in Pakistan’s Kartarpur bordering India in Punjab. It was built after he died in the 16th century.

Many Sikh holy sites became part of Pakistan after the British partitioned the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947 after two centuries of colonial rule.

Ties between the hostile neighboring countries deteriorated sharply after India revoked the disputed Kashmir region’s semi-autonomous status in early August.

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