India puts Kashmir in lockdown

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Residents in Indian-controlled Kashmir clashed with government forces Saturday as they defied a stringent curfew on the anniversary of the killing of a charismatic leader, whose death triggered open defiance against Indian rule.

Officials and witnesses said residents in at least four places in southern Kashmir tried to march on the streets while chanting slogans in favor of militants and ending Indian rule. Police and paramilitary soldiers fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

The protesters responded by hurling rocks at troops. No one was immediately reported injured in the clashes.

While Kashmir has remained on edge, the Indian and Pakistani armies, which regularly trade fire and blame across the de-facto militarized frontier that divides the disputed territory between them, fired at each other's positions, killing three civilians and an off-duty soldier, officials said.

Pakistan's military said two civilians were killed and three others wounded in the Indian army's "unprovoked" firing and shelling at two places along the highly militarized Line of Control.

India's military said an off-duty army soldier visiting home was killed along with his wife after a shell fired from the Pakistani side hit their home in Poonch sector. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Manish Mehta called it an "unprovoked" violation of the 2003 cease-fire between India and Pakistan.

India has accused Pakistan of arming and training the militants, which Pakistan denies.

Government forces for the second day sealed off the hometown of the 22-year-old Burhan Wani, who was killed along with two associates in a gunbattle with Indian troops last year. Witnesses said security forces ordered residents in southern Tral town to stay indoors.



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