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Curfew Lifted But Strike Hits Indian-Controlled Kashmir

Indian authorities lifted a six-day curfew across most of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday, but a strike called by separatists kept shops and offices closed.

Thousands of security force members patrolled the nearly deserted streets of Srinagar, Kashmir's main city. Curfew restrictions remain in place in some parts of the city.

Indian police and paramilitary forces have struggled to control recent violent protests against Indian rule in the Muslim-majority region. The security forces have been blamed for killing at least 15 protesters during the past month.

India last week sent army troops into Srinagar for the first time in nearly two decades to help quell the protests.

Indian authorities imposed the strict curfew last Tuesday but eased it Friday to allow residents to celebrate a Muslim festival. The curfew was reimposed on Saturday after scattered clashes.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in its entirety by both. Muslim insurgents have been fighting for independence from India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan for more than 20 years. Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.

The two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two wars over the Himalayan region.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.