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Elections Begin in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir Amid Unrest

Rawalpindi, Islamabad Pakistan, Line of Control, Kashmir

A government official says voting has begun in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to elect members of the local legislative assembly amid tight security.

Mian Naeem Ullah, secretary at the Election Commission, says Thursday's elections are taking place for 41 seats of the assembly in a free, fair and transparent manner.

The vote is taking place a day after thousands of people in Indian-controlled Kashmir observed a ‘black day” to protest the killing of dozens of civilians in recent days. The largest street protests in years erupted after Indian troops on July 8 killed Burhan Wani, the popular 22-year-old leader of Kashmir's largest rebel group.

On Thursday, Pakistani prime minister's adviser Sartaj Aziz accused India of “state terrorism.”

India and Pakistan hold competing territorial claims over Kashmir, which periodically erupts into violence.