Security clampdown, strike paralyze Kashmir after fierce clashes



A curfew has been imposed in the India-administered Kashmir valley, following a strike called by separatist leaders in protest of fierce clashes that killed 16 combatants and four civilians.

Authorities shut schools and colleges and canceled university exams as they braced for more violence.

They also stopped train services and cut cellphone internet services in the most restive towns, and reduced connection speeds in other parts of the Kashmir Valley. This has now become a standard tactic designed to calm tensions and prevent people from organizing anti-India demonstrations. Shops and other businesses also remained closed.

At least 13 rebels and three Indian army soldiers were killed in fierce gunbattles in southern Kashmir on Sunday. Four civilians were killed and dozens injured when police opened fire at people protesting against the military operation. In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have sought to protect the rebels by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants.

Read more: Is Kashmir really an international issue?

Kashmir insurgency

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in full.

Kashmiri rebels have waged a violent insurgency against the Indian state since 1989 for independence or a merger with Pakistan. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.

Read more: What is fueling the Kashmir insurgency?

The insurgency has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Many Kashmiris support the cause of the separatists and have come out in droves to protest against the Indian rule and military operations against rebels.

ap/msh (AP, dpa)

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