Three more killed in week-long Kashmir protests

Death toll reaches 55 as protesters continue to clash with police following killing of commander of separatist group.

    Three more people have been killed by Indian security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir, bringing the death toll to 55 since unrest erupted following the killing of a local separatist leader in early July.

    Two protesters were killed in the west of Srinagar and one in the north of the city after crowds clashed with police and paramilitary forces following Friday prayers, a police official said.

    Marking the 28th straight day of protests, thousands of locals defied a curfew that authorities have extended to large parts of the disputed territory.

    The protesters clashed with security forces who fired bullets, tear gas shells and pellets from shotguns.

    More than 100 people were wounded including several police officers.

    "Forces fired to disperse large crowds at two places in Budgam district in which two persons died," a senior police officer told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

    "Over 100 protesters (and) some policemen were injured in the day-long clashes," the officer said.

    READ MORE: Security forces urged to stop using pellet guns on Kashmiri protesters

    Weeks of street violence have followed since the killing of Burhan Wani, 22, a popular commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen separatist group, which is demanding the region's independence or its merger with Pakistan.

    More than 5,000 people and members of the security forces have been wounded in clashes since Wani's death.

    Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between Pakistan and India since shortly after the two countries were carved out of Britain in 1947. Both claim the region in its entirety.

    India accuses Pakistan of smuggling fighters across its border to attack forces in the Indian-administered portion of the region, a charge Islamabad strongly denies.

    Kashmir protests: Public anger over violence continues

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    Zimbabwe: What's happening?

    Zimbabwe: What's happening?

    Situation tense as thousands march in Harare to call for Robert Mugabe's resignation days after military takeover.