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Monday, July 11, 2016, 15:59

Kashmir seethes as 20 killed amid anti-India protests

By Associated Press
Kashmir seethes as 20 killed amid anti-India protests

An Indian paramilitary trooper stands guard on a street during a curfew in Srinagar on July 11, 2016. (Photo / Tauseef Mustafa, AFP)

SRINAGAR - Indian authorities were struggling Monday to contain protests by Kashmiris angry after 20 people were killed in weekend demonstrations, as youths defied a curfew to rally in the streets against the killing a top anti-India rebel leader.

Paramilitary troops and police in riot gear patrolled villages and towns in the Himalayan region. Most shops were shuttered, businesses were closed and cellphone services were suspended. But by noon Monday, crowds were ignoring the clampdown to gather in parts of the main city of Srinagar and other towns.

The region erupted in protests on Saturday, a day after Indian troops killed Burhan Wani, the young leader of Kashmir's largest rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, which has been fighting since the 1990s against Indian rule. Wani, in his early 20s, had become the iconic face of Kashmir's militancy, using social media to rally supporters and reach out to other youths like him who had grown up amid hundreds of thousands of Indian armed forces deployed across the region.

Police Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described Wani's killing as the "biggest success against militants" in recent years.

Kashmir seethes as 20 killed amid anti-India protests

Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol deserted street during curfew in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on July 11, 2016. (Photo / Dar Yasin, AP)

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