Situation in Kashmir volatile; one more civilian dies

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Kashmir remained volatile today as one more youth was killed in army firing and 47 others, including over 40 security personnel, were injured in clashes that rocked many parts of the valley, spreading beyond Kupwara, the epicentre of the four-day unrest.

18-year-old Arif Hussain Dar was killed while three others sustained bullet injuries when army opened fire to disperse stone-pelting mobs outside a camp in Nathnusa area of Kupwara, 100 kms from here, a police official said.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep anguish over the death and appealed to the general public to remain vigilant against nefarious designs of elements who want to distrub peace in the state.

The local residents were protesting against the killing of four persons -- three in Handwara on Tuesday and one in Drugmulla on Wednesday -- in action by security forces against protestors who were demonstrating against alleged molestation of a girl.

The three injured persons were referred to SMHS hospital here for specialised treatment, the official said.

An army official said the forces opened fire only after the mobs tried to storm the camp.

"A group of protesters were pelting stones at the (army) camp but the soldiers exercised restraint. However, the situation started going out of hand as a large number of them tried to storm the camp from all directions," he said.

With today's casualty, the death toll has risen to five in the unrest that began on Tuesday following allegations of molestation of a girl in Handwara.

While Kupwara district has been witnessing trouble since Tuesday, protests spread today to other parts of the Valley including Sopore town in Baramulla district, Tral in Pulwama district, Bijbehara in Anantnag district, Srinagar city and Kangan area in Ganderbal district.

Zachaldara, Kralgund, Kralpora, Mir Mohalla, Drugmulla and Magam were the other areas in Kupwara district where violent protests were witnessed.

Two civilians were injured in action by security forces in Heeri area of Trehgam and Kupwara town during the protests.

Source PTI

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