Two killed in clashes as thousands defy curfew in Indian Kashmir
Thousands defied a curfew in India-administered Kashmir Sunday to take part in protests which saw fresh clashes with security forces, and at least two civilians killed, dpa reported.
The latest deaths brings to eight the number of people killed in protests and clashes across the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley since Friday, despite a security clampdown by authorities.
More than 100 people have been injured in the violence.
Early Sunday, thousands gathered took part in protests in northern Baramulla, Pampore and the Gaalandar areas.
"Two people were killed during the protests in Pampore near state capital Srinagar," a police official said, claiming that the firing came from the crowd.
Locals meanwhile accused police of having fired indiscriminately. Fifteen people including 13 policemen were wounded in the clashes, mostly hit by stones and rocks by the crowds, police said.
In Gaalandar, hundreds of people attempted to block a main highway during the demonstrations.
The region has been volatile with protestors attacking government property and vehicles. At least two police stations were ransacked and a railway station set ablaze in the violence.
Heavy police and paramilitary forces were deployed in Srinagar and other areas to quell the protests.
In national capital New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened a cabinet meet on security to discuss the situation in Kashmir in wake of the fresh violence.
Unrest has gripped the Himalayan region with angry mobs protesting the killings of at least 25 civilians by troops since June 11.
Strong anti-India sentiment in Kashmir often pits protestors against security forces, who are present in large numbers to control a secessionist movement that peaked in the late 1980s.
India accuses neighbouring Pakistan of aiding Kashmiri militants. Islamabad denies the charge, calling them freedom fighters. The disputed region is divided into parts administered by each nation.