Toll rises to 12 in Kashmir violence (Second Lead)

August 12th, 2008 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 12 (IANS) As many as 12 people were killed and at least 300 people, including civilians and security personnel, were injured in Kashmir Tuesday as violence escalated and protesters fought pitched battles with the police and paramilitary forces, defying curfew imposed across the Valley. The police and paramilitary forces opened fired on an unruly mob in the Bagh-e-Mehtab area of Srinagar Tuesday evening, in which two protesters were killed.

One critically injured person who was admitted to the city’s SMHS Hospital Monday after a firing incident at the Sangrama highway in north Kashmir succumbed to injuries, according to the doctors at the hospital.

With these three deaths, the total number of protesters killed across the valley Tuesday rose to 12.

Three protesters were killed and four injured in the morning when the army fired to contain an unruly mob in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.

In Lasjan, on the city outskirts, three people were killed and a senior police officer was injured when an armed guard of a former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) minister opened fire on a mob which allegedly tried to attack the leader’s house.

One child was killed in Rainawari locality of the old city here when a protesting mob torched the house of senior National Conference leader Syed Akhoon.

One protester was killed by the paramilitary forces at Kralpora locality on the city outskirts.

One protester was killed and four were wounded in Nagabal area of Ganderbal district in north Kashmir when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers fired on the mob.

Protesters have clashed with the police and the CRPF in Kupwara and Baramulla towns in north Kashmir.

Protesters also torched two police vehicles in Kupwara district.

Day-long massive violence by angry protesters was also reported from Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian districts of south Kashmir.

Separatist leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed in Monday’s firing while leading a huge march to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, was laid to rest in the martyrs’ graveyard in Srinagar.

A huge procession of mourners headed by senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik attended the burial.

Addressing the procession, Umer Farooq asked people to remain calm and not to damage any public property during the agitation which he said must remain peaceful.

The Mirwaiz also said there would be mourning across the valley in memory of the slain leader up to Aug 15 after which the Hurriyat leaders would announce their future programme.

Both Geelani and Umer Farooq were placed under house arrest by authorities here, but large mobs of protesters marched to their residences breaking the security cordon to allow the leaders lead the funeral procession of Abdul Aziz.

Meanwhile, authorities here said indefinite curfew would remain in force in all 10 districts of the Valley - Srinagar, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara, Badgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam.

It is for the first time after 1990 that an indefinite curfew has been clamped on the entire valley.

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