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Teenager killed in fresh India-Occupied Kashmir clashes

Kashmir

SRINAGAR:  A teenager was shot dead in India-Occupied Kashmir on Wednesday as thousands of protesters engaged in fresh clashes with security forces after weeks of deadly violence, police and witnesses said.

Paramilitary troops fired live rounds as residents demonstrated against an earlier raid by soldiers searching for protest leaders in the northern village of Nadihal, a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

“The boy died in the firing. Five other protesters also received bullet injuries,” the officer, who is not authorised to speak to the media, told AFP. Locals said he was aged 18.

Protesters also clashed with troops who fired shotgun pellets and tear gas in other areas of the northern Himalayan region including in the main city of Srinagar, another senior police officer and witnesses said.

“We have reports about 50 protesters were injured in Anantnag, mostly with pellets,” the police officer said of the southern town.

Kashmir has been reeling from almost daily protests against Indian rule since the death of a popular separatist leader Burhan Wani on July 8 in a gunbattle with soldiers.

Also Read: Burhan Wani: Kashmir’s Facebook freedom fighter

Some 70 civilians have been killed and thousands injured in the worst violence to hit the Muslim-majority territory since 2010. Two police officers have also died during the seven weeks of unrest.

Residents also set fire on Wednesday to a lawmaker’s house in the southern area of Kulgam as they returned from a rally, a local police officer confirmed. No one was injured in the blaze.

Authorities lifted a curfew in most parts of the territory on Monday, but schools, shops and most banks remain shut and mobile internet services are still suspended.

Several separatist groups have for decades fought Indian soldiers — currently numbering around 500,000 — deployed in the territory. They demand independence for the region or its merger with rival Pakistan.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.

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