Two killed in protests in Indian Kashmir amid uptick in violence

At least two protestors were killed Saturday in clashes with security forces in India-administered Kashmir following agitation against Indian rule over the past two months.

A 25-year old man was killed after security forces tried to break up a “pro-freedom march” in a village in Shopian district, a local police official said.

The victim succumbed to head injuries after he was hit by a tear-gas shell fired by the forces to disperse the crowds, the official said.

In another protest, a 22-year old man died from pellet injuries in Anantnag district in clashes between police and protestors. More than two dozen people were injured in Saturday's protests and a curfew was reimposed in the affected areas.

At least 78 people have died in the unrest, which has gripped the Kashmir Valley since Burhan Wani, a commander from the separatist Hizbul Mujahideen group, was killed in an encounter on July 8.

This is the worst civilian unrest to hit the Muslim-majority region since 2010, when 120 people died in anti-India protests after police shot dead a teenager.

Over 50,000 people have been killed since a violent secessionist militant movement broke out in Indian-administered Kashmir in the 1980s.

India claims Pakistan supports and encourages the rebels and separatist leaders, but Islamabad denies the charge and calls them freedom fighters.

Last update: Sat, 10/09/2016 - 11:57

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