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Indian Police Kill at Least 4 Muslim Demonstrators in Kashmir


Indian authorities say police have shot and killed at least four Muslim separatist demonstrators in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Authorities say security forces opened fire Monday on stone-throwing Muslim protesters on the outskirts of the summer capital, Srinagar. At least 80 people were wounded in the clashes.

The protesters were defying a strict curfew ahead of a massive anti-India rally that was planned in central Srinagar. Thousands of police and troops were deployed to enforce the curfew and prevented the huge rally from taking place Monday.

Security forces also detained two Muslim separatist leaders, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, in pre-dawn raids in Srinagar. Authorities later detained a third separatist leader, Mohammed Yasin Malik, when he defied the curfew.

Elsewhere, in Kashmir's Hindu-dominated winter capital of Jammu, Hindu protesters clashed with police Monday.

Hindu groups in the area have staged strikes and barricaded roads, creating an economic blockade on Kashmir Valley.

Tension has run high in the region since June, when the government announced plans to transfer land in the Muslim-majority area to a Hindu shrine. Muslim protests prompted the government to rescind the plan, angering Hindus.

At least 35 people have been killed, and hundreds more have been wounded, in weeks of protests across Kashmir.

A three-day strike that began Saturday has shut down schools, shops, businesses and public transportation throughout the region.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India but claimed by both. Islamic separatists have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India, or for its merger with Muslim-dominated Pakistan, since 1989.

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