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News  


 

Fresh clashes in Indian Kashmir after four protesters die

SRINAGAR (AFP) – Fresh clashes erupted on Saturday between anti-India protesters and security forces in Indian Kashmir, where 55 demonstrators have died during two months of unrest.
Police used teargas, batons and in some cases live ammunition to disperse the stone-throwing demonstrators who took to the streets in defiance of strict curfews in the Muslim-majority region.
“At least 20 protesters and 10 policemen were injured in clashes in more than two dozen locations across Kashmir,” a Police officer told AFP, asking not to be named.
Authorities stepped up a curfew in the main city Srinagar after four people were killed Friday in the latest of a series of demonstrations against New Delhi’s rule in the Himalayan region.
“We have enforced a curfew across Srinagar to maintain law and order,” chief district magistrate Meraj Kakroo said. Curfews were also extended to other parts of the region, Police added.
The heightened security came as India geared up for Independence Day celebrations on Sunday marking the end of British rule in 1947.
Separatists observe the day as a “black day” and security is normally stricter than usual in Indian Kashmir, where Islamic militants have been fighting against New Delhi’s rule for two decades.
Anti-India protests have become increasingly intense as Kashmiris seek to force New Delhi to withdraw troops from the disputed Himalayan region, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, and end Indian rule.
The latest killings – of three teenage students and a 65-year-old man – came as Kashmiris marked the first Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Police said Friday they had been forced to open fire because they were unable to control a crowd throwing stones.
Critics say the security forces resort to using live ammunition because they are poorly trained and unable to handle the unruly crowds.