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UN chief airs concern over killings in held Kashmir, calls for probe

NEW YORK: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over the killing of around 20 people in clashes with Indian forces in occupied Kashmir. 

Speaking to reporters at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, the secretary-general spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said: “Civilians have to be protected wherever they are, whether it is in Gaza, whether it is in Jammu and Kashmir, whether it is in Yemen. It is a basic principle.”

“Any loss of civilians needs to be investigated wherever they occur,” he said and added: “The Secretary-General is very concerned about the situation we see in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“He reminds that member states are responsible under international humanitarian law to protect civilians,” he added.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on member states to find ways to address disputes in a peaceful manner.”

Indian authorities on Monday shut schools and blocked internet services in occupied Kashmir, after deadly protests and gun battles left 20 dead and 200 injured.

Thousands took to the streets on April 01 to protest against Indian atrocities but Indian troops resorted to firing bullets and pellets on crowds who threw stones and chanted slogans against the Indian rule.

Doctors said the extent of pellet gun injuries was the worst they had ever seen since hundreds were wounded in unrest that followed the shooting death of charismatic Kashmiri separatist Burhan Wani in July 2016.

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