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Clashes After Friday Prayers in Indian Kashmir


Hundreds of anti-India protesters clashed with security forces Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir's main city, even as authorities reimposed a strict curfew across most of region.

Friday's curfew was eased slightly in Srinagar to allow worshippers to attend prayers at smaller local mosques, but no prayers were allowed at the main mosque, Jamia Masjid.

After prayers ended, hundreds poured into the streets to protest Indian rule in defiance of the curfew. Police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse protesters in scattered clashes. Other cities in the Kashmir valley were put under similar restrictions to block planned separatist marches.

Indian authorities have struggled to maintain order in the region, which has been rocked by strikes and protests against Indian rule for nearly a month. At least 15 people have died in shootings blamed on police and paramilitary soldiers trying to stop the demonstrations.

Muslim insurgents in Kashmir have been fighting for a bloody push for independence from India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan for more than 20 years. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in its entirety by both.

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

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