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Indian officials reimpose curfew in Kashmir's main city

Associated Press Associated Press 29/08/2016 By AIJAZ HUSSAIN, Associated Press
A masked Kashmiri protester throws stones at government forces during a protest after curfew was lifted in some parts of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Authorities on Monday lifted a curfew imposed in most parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir as part of a 52-day security lockdown, although most shops and businesses remained closed due to an ongoing strike called to protest Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) © The Associated Press A masked Kashmiri protester throws stones at government forces during a protest after curfew was lifted in some parts of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Authorities on Monday lifted a curfew imposed in most parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir as part of a 52-day security lockdown, although most shops and businesses remained closed due to an ongoing strike called to protest Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

SRINAGAR, India — Authorities on Monday lifted a curfew imposed in most parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir as part of a 52-day security lockdown, but reimposed it later in the day in most of Srinagar, the region's main city, after anti-India protests and clashes erupted in several neighborhoods.

Residents chanted slogans like "We want freedom" and "Go India, go back" as they hurled stones at government forces, who fired tear gas to stop them from marching in the streets, a police officer said.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with department policy.

Protests and clashes were also reported in many areas of the region. At least eight civilians were reported injured.

Authorities said they had decided to lift the curfew over much of the region in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

Government forces removed steel barricades and coils of barbed wire from roads across the region. Public transport was off the roads in Srinagar but some private vehicles were seen on the streets.

The curfew, a series of communication blackouts and a tightening crackdown have failed to halt some of the largest protests against Indian rule in recent years, triggered by the killing of a popular rebel commander on July 8.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have defied security restrictions, staged protests and clashed with government forces on a daily basis seeking an end of Indian rule.

At least 68 civilians have been killed and thousands injured, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotguns at rock-throwing protesters. Two policemen have been killed while hundreds of government forces have been injured in the clashes.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. Most Kashmiris want an end to Indian rule and favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people have been killed since rebel groups began fighting Indian forces in 1989 and in the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

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