Indian forces fire on Kashmir protesters; 1 killed

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Associated Press

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 23 at 8:34 AM

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A protester was killed and four others were wounded Monday when Indian government forces in Kashmir fired at demonstrators protesting the killing of a suspected rebel in an earlier gunbattle, police said.

An officer said residents clashed with troops and tried to burn an armored vehicle in Sopore, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) northwest of Srinagar, Kashmir's main city. The protest occurred soon after an 18-hour gunbattle between militants and Indian troops in which the suspected rebel was killed.

The police officer spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

Resident Nazir Ahmed said over the phone that the troops picked up two young men during the gunbattle, triggering protests.

As the news spread, residents joined the protesters, chanting slogans such as "We want freedom" and "Down with India" as they carried the slain man's body.

Anti-India feelings run deep in Kashmir, where rebel groups have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. Nearly a dozen rebel groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people have died in the conflict.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan. Both claim it in its entirety and have fought two wars over its control since they won independence from Britain in 1947.

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