South Asia

Civilians dead in clashes with Kashmir security forces

Paramilitary police clash with protesters in Srinagar
Image caption Indian police are struggling to control a wave of protests

At least three civilians have been killed and scores wounded in fresh violence in Indian-Kashmir.

The latest clashes between protesters and police took place in Srinagar.

Early reports say that one man was hit by a bullet when police fired on protesters pelting them with stones. A woman was also shot and killed.

At least 11 civilians died in clashes with security forces throughout June, making it one of the most violent months in recent years.

Tension

Many of the deaths have been blamed on the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Image caption Police have been accused of being heavy-handed during the protests

Tuesday morning's protests were held over the drowning of a young man as he tried to escape from police in the capital on Monday - locals allege that the police were responsible for the drowning.

The police have not commented on the allegation.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says that about 100 people - including police and civilians - have been injured in the latest clashes, which led to the authorities imposing a curfew in Srinagar and in the towns of Anantnag, Pulwama and Kakapora.

Our correspondent says that the curfew in Anantnag has now been in place for seven consecutive days - since three people were killed by police there last week - and there is no sign of the tension diminishing.

In Srinagar an angry mob set fire to a government-owned car and damaged a government-owned bus.

Most of the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley has either been under a curfew or shut down for the past few weeks because of protests over the killing of civilians by the police and paramilitary forces.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has defended the security forces, saying they could not be expected constantly to show restraint when they were so often pelted with stones.

The killings of civilian protesters, most of them teenagers, have angered many in the valley.

One newspaper headline described 2010 as the "year of teenage killings" in Kashmir.

Even the pro-India People's Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the government of declaring war on its own people, our correspondent reports.

Hundreds of thousands of troops are based in Kashmir to fight a two-decade insurgency against Indian rule.

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