Pakistan

Another protester killed in fresh clashes in held Kashmir

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SRINAGAR, INDIAN-HELD KASHMIR: One protester was killed on Wednesday in fresh clashes with security forces armed with shotguns in Indian-administered Kashmir, which is reeling from weeks of deadly violence, police said.

As Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in the disputed region to discuss the unrest with local political, business and other leaders, thousands of residents rallied in Pulwama in southern Kashmir.

Security forces fired tear gas and shotguns to disperse the crowd which had defied a curfew to gather on the streets, said local police superintendent Rayees Mohammad Bhat.

“This youth died of (shotgun) pellet injuries,” Bhat said.

At least 14 other protesters were injured in the clashes, said a doctor at a leading hospital in the main city of Srinagar where they were taken for treatment.

Kashmir has been under a curfew since protests broke out over the death of popular young separatist leader Burhan Wani on July 8 in a gunfight with security forces.

Some 84 civilians have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands more injured in the worst violence to hit the Himalayan region since 2010.

Many of those injured have been hit in the eyes with pellets, causing partial or complete blindness.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an end to the violence, stressing the need for dialogue with political parties to find a solution.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in August 1947 but both claim the territory in full.

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have been killed since 1989 when an armed revolt against Indian rule began.

Separatists groups are seeking either independence or a merger with Pakistan.

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