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14 killed, 70 injured in Kashmir violence

Srinagar: Kashmir is once again witnessing violent clashes between protestors and security forces despite the curfew imposed in many areas of Srinagar and other cities in the Valley. At least 14 people, including a policeman, have been killed and over 70 others injured in violent clashes between security forces and protestors in the Valley.

The maximum casualties happened in Tanmarg where five people were killed and over 40 others injured when security forces opened fire to disperse a stone-pelting mob. Four people including a policeman died and 20 were injured in Budgam while one person was killed and three others injured at Ajas in Bandipora. In Anantnag, two persons lost their lives while one death is reported from Pampore. One civilian was killed in Charar-e-Sharif taking the toll to 14.

With 14 deaths, the toll in the over three month long unrest in the Valley has risen to 87. The mobs also set a private school and a railway hut on fire in the Valley.

Stone-pelting incidents were also reported from several other places, including Sabzi Mandi in Soura area of Srinagar along with Machow and Goga-Humhama in Budgam district.

Several youngsters have been defying the curfew in force in Srinagar and other cities of the Valley and pelting stones on security forces. Curfew remained in Srinagar and six other towns including Baramulla and Sopore for the second consecutive day after a weekend of violence.

Restriction on movement of civilians has also been imposed in Pattan, Ganderbal and Kupwara. The Hurriyat Conference faction led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has declared that it will defy the curfew and lead a protest march to the UN office in Srinagar.

An FIR had already been registered on Sunday against moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for inciting violence in Srinagar after Eid-ul-Fitr prayers on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday morning. Omar has come under severe criticism for the way he has handled the ongoing crisis that erupted in June.

Omar has backed the proposal to partially withdraw the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the Valley, saying it would be a confidence-building measure.

Even though the Home Ministry is not averse to the idea, but it seems the Defence Ministry, especially the Army has some reservations on any changes in the Act.

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