One dead, dozens hurt as Indian troops fire during Kashmir protests

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Indian troops fired live rounds during protests at two places in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring at least 50, police and an eyewitness said.

A senior police officer told Reuters a civilian, Sajjad Ahmad Parray, died after Indian troops fired ammunition, including live rounds and metal pellets, in Pinjoora, a village in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.

“At least 20 including two girls received pellet injuries, some of them in their eyes,” added the officer, who asked not to be named.

Eyewitness Aijaz Ahmad told Reuters Parray died on the way to hospital after being shot at by troops.

The protests came during a gun battle in the village between two militants and Indian troops, the officer said.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is the subject of decades of hostility between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, who have fought two wars over the territory. They came close to a third war earlier this year after a suicide car bomb by a Pakistani militant group killed dozens of Indian police in the region.

Many people in Indian-controlled Kashmir resent Indian rule, and often protest in support of separatist militants.

The senior officer said that at a second gun battle, also on Wednesday, protesters pelted stones at troops to disrupt an operation in Muhammad Pora village in Kulgam district.

At least 30 people were hurt, one hit by a bullet and others with pellets. He said that militants trapped at the second site managed to escape from the gun battle.

Police and army spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari; Editing by Alasdair Pal and Andrew Cawthorne

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