Teenager killed in fresh Indian Kashmir clashes

Masked Kashmiri Muslim protesters react as Indian police men fired tear gas shells to stop their march in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. (Photo: AP)

A teenager was shot dead in Indian-administered 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 rebel leader on July 8 in a gunbattle with soldiers.

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.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the two gained independence from British rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.

Several rebel 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.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49