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Police kill seven protesters in Kashmir

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A third straight day of clashes between security forces and anti-India protesters in Kashmir has seen seven people killed, four of them in blasts triggered by an attack on a police station.

Despite strict curfews across the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley – including the main city of Srinagar – large numbers of demonstrators took to the streets in many districts, police said.

Indian Kashmir has been wracked by pro-independence protests since a 17-year-old student was killed by a police tear gas shell in early June. Sunday’s incidents took the overall death toll in the past two months to 30.

In the town of Pampore, around 13 kilometres south of Srinagar, police said they had opened fire on a large crowd of demonstrators after baton charges and tear gas rounds failed to disperse them.

Two young men and a 17-year-old woman were shot dead.

Police said the protesters had blocked a main highway and attacked the security forces. Local residents said the demonstration had been vocal but peaceful.

The fatal shootings fuelled further protests in the nearby village of Khrew, where a crowd attacked a police station, forcing the officers inside to flee.

They then set fire to the ransacked building. The flames set off a cache of explosives in a series of blasts that demolished most of the station house, a senior local police officer said.

At least four of the protesters were killed, the officer said, adding that more bodies might be buried under the rubble.

The recent unrest is the worst for two years in Indian Kashmir, where a 20-year separatist insurgency against Indian rule has claimed thousands of lives.

Twelve people have been killed in clashes with security forces in the past three days alone.


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