Kashmir violence 311.
(photo credit: AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
SRINAGAR, India — Four people were gunned down by security forces who opened fire on thousands of protesters and another four civilians were killed in a blast at a police station, bringing the death toll from weeks of clashes in increasingly violent Indian Kashmir to 31.
The explosion Sunday happened after the police station was set on fire by residents angry at two deaths in Khrew, a town near Srinagar where hundreds had been protesting Indian rule, a top police officer said.
At least four people were killed and dozens of civilians were wounded in
the blast, the officer said on condition of anonymity as he didn't want
his name to be used.
There were no casualties among the police
officers who fled the area as the mob attacked the station, which also
housed a counterinsurgency force, the officer said.
A lot of
explosive material used in quarry blasting was stored in the police
station and it might have triggered the blast, he said.
deafening blast shook the earth beneath and a flying brick hit my head,"
said Mohammed Yousuf, an eyewitness. "We don't know what happened
inside the premises, but outside many were left injured."
mostly Muslim region of Kashmir, where resistance to rule by
predominantly Hindu India is strong, has been under a rolling curfew
since anti-India street protests and clashes surged.
tension in the Himalayan region — divided between India and Pakistan and
claimed by both — is reminiscent of the late 1980s, when protests
against New Delhi's rule sparked an armed conflict. More than 68,000
people have been killed, mostly civilians.
demonstrators began hurling stones after government forces tried to
prevent them from marching in the town of Pampore, another police
Government forces opened fire, killing two of the protesters, the officer said.
latest cycle of protests against Indian rule in the troubled region has
left at least 31 dead — mostly teenagers and young men in their 20s —
over the past six weeks.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir since 1947. Both claim the region in entirety.
politicians and militants reject Indian sovereignty over Kashmir and
want to carve out a separate homeland or merge with predominantly Muslim