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ہفتہ, ستمبر 18, 2010

Indian police open fire at funeral procession in Kashmir

One person was killed and 14 others were injured on Saturday as the Indian security forces opened fire on innocent citizens who had taken out a funeral procession defying the curfew in Anantnag town of south Kashmir.

Thousands of residents of Nathpora in Khanabal and adjoining areas in Anantnag defied curfew after the body of a 10-year-old boy, who was missing since Monday, was recovered from river Jhelum, official sources said.

Defying a strict curfew, protesters in Srinagar chanted "we want freedom!" and "Indians go back," in an outpouring of public anger after the latest death, which brought the death toll since the violence began in June to 98.

The young protester died in a hospital Saturday after being injured earlier this week when security forces fired on violent protesters in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian occupied Kashmir.

Women and children were among those out on the streets on Saturday, the sixth day of a rigid indefinite curfew brought in across the region to try to contain the unrest.

Government forces have been battling for months to quell the violent demonstrations in the mainly Muslim region that were ignited by the police killing of a 17-year-old student on June 11.

A total of 98 protesters and bystanders -- including children -- have been killed, mostly by security forces firing on demonstrators after being pelted with stones. One policeman has also died.

On Friday, at least three people were killed and 23 injured after the Indian security forces opened fire in six places as crowds pelted troops with stones and set fire to government buildings and vehicles, police said.

Pakistan accused India of "brutality" over its crackdown on demonstrators who are pushing for an end to New Delhi's rule in Kashmir, a territory claimed by both nuclear-armed neighbours.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who held tense talks with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna in July to try to build trust between the estranged neighbours, condemned India's actions.

A strict curfew has been in place since Sunday in most parts of Kashmir, leading to complaints of "collective punishment" from locals who have been confined to their homes and are running low on food and medicine.

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