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Indian Kashmir Death Toll Reaches 100

New violence in India-controlled Kashmir on Saturday raised the death toll at least 100 since anti-government protests began sweeping the region in June.

Government forces say they killed two people in separate incidents on Saturday.

Police killed one person taking part in a funeral procession that was defying a curfew. Thousands joined the funeral in Anantnag, south of Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. The funeral was for a man who residents claim drowned in a river after being chased by police. Authorities say police opened fire on the procession after mourners tried to set fire to the house of a pro-India politician.

Troops also opened fire on hundreds of stone-throwing protesters in Palhalan, northwest of Srinagar, killing one person.

Also Saturday, a man shot by police in clashes earlier this week died in a Srinagar hospital.

Authorities relaxed a strict curfew in parts of Srinagar Saturday, six days after imposing the indefinite order. The eased restriction allows resident to leave their homes to buy essentials.

The government has deployed the army into Kashmir as part of a joint security strategy with police to crack down on separatist protests.

Authorities fear the violence will escalate even more on September 21, when hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has urged followers to stage protests outside army camps.

New Delhi is sending a cross-party delegation to Kashmir, perhaps as early as Monday, to learn first-hand about tensions in the region.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accused separatists of orchestrating and inflaming some of the unrest. He has called for dialogue among all parties to bring calm to the Muslim-majority region.

Protesters are seeking to gain independence from mostly Hindu India or to merge with Muslim-majority Pakistan.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but both countries claim the entire region.

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