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Curfew Eased In Indian-Controlled Kashmir For Friday Prayers

Indian security forces stand guard at a roadblock ahead of Muslim Friday noon prayers in Jammu in the Kashmir region on August 9.

A strict curfew in effect in Indian-controlled Kashmir for a fifth day was to due be eased for Friday prayers on August 9.

The region's police chief, Dilbagh Singh, told the AP news agency, "People will be allowed to go to the area-specific mosques for the prayers in most parts of Srinagar city."

He gave no exact time frame. Friday prayers start at 12:37 p.m. in Srinagar and last for about 20 minutes.

Indian-administered Kashmir has been under a security lockdown since late on August 4, with mobile, landline, and Internet networks cut off.

On August 5, India's Hindu nationalist-led government announced it was revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrading its statehood.

In an address to the nation on August 8, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the move would allow New Delhi to rid the region of "terrorism and separatism."

Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan and divided between them.

Rebels have been fighting Indian rule for decades and most Kashmiri residents want independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP