Three pilgrims died en route to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 88, officials said on Thursday.

Naveen Kucha (42), a resident of Madhya Pradesh, complained breathlessness while crossing Sangam top and was rushed to a makeshift hospital where he was declared brought dead, the officials said.

Kucha, who had offered his prayers at the cave shrine on Wednesday evening and was returning to the base camp, had apparently died of cardiac arrest, the officials said.

Meanwhile, body of an unidentified pilgrim was recovered from a tent at Baltal on Wednesday. Efforts are on to establish his identity.

Another yatri A N S Molly of Andhra Pradesh died of heart failure at the cave last evening, the officials said.

The yatra is going on smoothly and so far over 5.40 lakh pilgrims had offered prayers at the cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam, the officials added.

A total of 5,30,044 pilgrims had visited the cave shrine by Wednesday evening, while 10,000 more offered prayers by this afternoon, the officials added.

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