Clashes in Kashmir over murder of three youths

Srinagar, Sep 15 (IANS) Intermittent clashes rocked several places in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Tuesday, as protestors pelted stones at the security forces over the murder of three youths whose bodies were found in an apple orchard on Monday.

Protestors took to the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road at Narbal, Pattan, Palhallan and Sangrama, and pelted stones to block the passage of traffic on the highway.

After contingents of police and paramilitary forces were deployed to clear the highway, protestors clashed with them.

Though the highway was restored for traffic for some time, the protestors regrouped and again pelted stones at the security forces and private and public vehicles passing on the highway.

There was a complete shutdown in Pattan, Palhallan and Sopore towns over the murders of the three youths who police said belonged to the Lashkar-e-Islami breakaway group of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Police said the youths were murdered because of a rivalry between the Hizbul Mujahideen and the breakaway outfit headed by wanted militant commander Qayoom Najar.

Police identified all the three bodies — which were found in an apple orchard in Pattan area — as those of militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Islami.

Meanwhile, the Hizbul Mujahideen issued a statement on Tuesday, saying there was no militant group known as Lashkar-e-Islami.

The Hizbul statement said the three youths belonged to the Hizbul and were killed by the security forces in a staged shootout.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Muhammad Yasin Malik have called for a protest shutdown on Wednesday against the murder of the three youths.

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