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Kashmir violence.

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Fresh fighting hit Indian Kashmir yesterday as thousands of Muslims took to the streets to bury the victims of two days of deadly protests in the revolt-hit area, witnesses said.The main city in the Kashmir valley, Srinagar, remained tense with Indian security forces easing a total curfew for a few hours so beleaguered residents could stock up on food and other supplies.Officials said the toll from anti-India protests in the disputed Himalayan region on Monday and Tuesday, which were met with police and army gunfire, stood at 21 deadAa and at least 500 injured.Gunfire rang out in the city yesterday, as large numbers of police and paramilitaries struggled to keep furious residents locked in their homes.Thousands of residents chanting C[pounds sterling]Indian troops go homeC[yen] and C[pounds sterling]we will spill blood for bloodC[yen] also poured onto the streets of Srinagar to join funeral processions for two Muslims who died of wounds in hospital early yesterday.Police and residents reported protests from several other parts of Srinagar and the Muslim-majority valley, which has been hit by an anti-Indian insurgency since 1989.Among those gunned down by Indian security forces on was a prominent, moderate separatist leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was leading a protest near the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.Two senior separatist leaders, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, have called for C[pounds sterling]non-violent protest demonstrationsC[yen] to continue.C[pounds sterling]We call upon the nation to observe three days of mourning and hold peaceful demonstrations,C[yen] Farooq said.He also called on Kashmiris to observe August 15, India's Independence Day, as a C[pounds sterling]black dayC[yen].Residents say the protests have highlighted a growing frustration among Kashmiris that the peace process, launched in 2004, has yielded no progress on the dispute over the future of the region.

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 14, 2008
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