Indian forces fire at Kashmir protesters, killing 1

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 21, 2016 11:50 AM
Indian forces fire at Kashmir protesters, killing 1

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — One young man was killed and dozens wounded in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday as government forces fired shotguns and tear gas at protesters demanding an end to Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region.

The man was hit by a tear gas shell in his chest during clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government troops in Srinagar, the region's main city, said a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with department policy. The man died later at a hospital.

At least 70 civilians, including four women, were injured during several clashes in the northern areas of Sopore, Baramulla and Ganderbal that erupted as government forces tried to prevent the villagers from stopping protest rallies, the officer said.

Troops fired tear gas and pellet guns at rock-throwing protesters, he said.

A security lockdown and protest strikes continued for the 44th straight day Sunday, with tens of thousands of Indian armed police and paramilitary soldiers in full riot gear patrolling the tense region. The killing of a popular rebel commander on July 8 sparked some of Kashmir's largest protests against Indian rule in recent years.

At least 65 civilians have been killed and thousands injured, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotguns at rock-throwing protesters. Two policemen have also been killed and hundreds of government forces have been injured in the clashes.

Meanwhile, Indian army soldiers on Sunday killed three suspected rebels near the heavily militarized line of control that divides disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

The rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.