Tension in Kashmir as four killed in fresh violence

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Srinagar, Aug 16 (IANS) The security forces shot dead four civilian protesters in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday, taking the toll to 64 in the violent unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of a popular rebel commander.

A police officer told IANS here that protesters clashed with security forces in Budgam district of central Kashmir.

The protesters, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, threw stones at the security forces in Aripanthan village, some 30 km from here.

The security forces opened fire to bring the situation under control. One person was killed on the spot and three more succumbed to their injuries at a hospital.

More than a dozen persons sustained injuries in the violence, the latest in a series of clashes that have rocked the Kashmir Valley in more than five weeks.

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The Valley has been on the boil amid curfew and separatist shutdown that continued for the 39th day in a row on Tuesday.

A 20-year-old youth identified as Yaseer Ahmed of Srinagar was killed in firing by security forces on Monday when a mob indulged in intense stone pelting. Two other youths sustained bullet injuries in the incident.

Another youth, Ashfaq Ahmed, who was injured in a stone pelting clash in the Tangmarg area of Baramulla district two weeks back, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital here also on Monday evening.

Police said curfew and restrictions would continue on Tuesday in all the 10 districts of the valley. Separatists have already extended their protest shutdown to August 18.

All educational institutions, shops, public transport and other businesses have remained shut since July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed.

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