You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

5 killed in anti-India protests on Kashmir by-election day

Associated Press logo Associated Press 9/04/2017
Kashmiri protesters throw stones on Indian security men outside a poling station during a by-election to an Indian Parliament seat in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) © The Associated Press Kashmiri protesters throw stones on Indian security men outside a poling station during a by-election to an Indian Parliament seat in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

SRINAGAR, India — Security forces in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir opened fire Sunday on crowds of people who attacked polling stations where voting for a by-election was taking place, killing five and injuring at least a dozen, officials said.

Protesters tried to snatch or damage electronic voting machines in at least a dozen places in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, said Shantmanu, Kashmir's chief electoral officer.

The deaths occurred when security forces fired after clashes broke out with protesters who wanted to stop the election for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency. The seat had fallen vacant after a lawmaker resigned to protest the killing of civilians during unrest last year.

Police said many protesters were injured in the violence.

Anti-India separatists who challenge India's sovereignty over Kashmir had called for a boycott of the by-election.

Voter turnout was low, with only about 6 percent of the area's 1.3 million voters casting ballots as of 3 p.m., two hours before the voting was to end, said Shantmanu, who uses only one name.

Indian Kashmir has been wracked by violence since a separatist insurgency began nearly 30 years ago.

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have protected anti-India rebels by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants.

Rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Most people in the Indian-controlled portion favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon