5th Kashmiri dies in weeklong clashes with Indian troops

AP News
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Posted: Apr 15, 2016 12:36 PM
5th Kashmiri dies in weeklong clashes with Indian troops

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Army troops in Indian Kashmir opened fire on protesters throwing rocks at a military camp in the troubled Himalayan region Friday, killing at least one person and injuring three others.

A police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press said the protest took place in Kupwara, 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the region's main city, Srinagar.

A string of protests in Indian Kashmir began Tuesday in the northern town of Handwara following an allegation by residents that an Indian army soldier tried to sexually assault a teenage schoolgirl. The army has ordered an investigation.

A total of five people have been killed in clashes that have erupted across the region despite regular security lockdowns and a daylong strike call by separatist groups Wednesday.

Kashmir has been split between Indian and Pakistani control since the British colonialists left in 1947, but claimed in full by both India and Pakistan.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for independence from India or the Indian portion's merger with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the armed uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among the mostly Muslim population of Kashmir, and human rights groups have long accused the Indian military of using rape and sexual molestation to oppress the local population.