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Deadly Clashes Erupt In Kashmir After Killing Of Top Rebel Leader

A protester throws stick at police amid tear smoke during a protest in Srinagar on July 1.

At least three people died and dozens were wounded in the troubled Himalayan region of Kashmir on July 9 when Indian troops clashed with protesters who defied a curfew and participated in the funeral of a top rebel commander.

The curfew was imposed in an effort to hold down protests after Indian security officials said they killed Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a commander of the Pakistan-allied rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen, along with two other militants on July 8.

As news of the killing spread, violent clashes erupted in several areas of Kashmir. Reports say security forces shot at the protesters after thousands of residents hurled rocks at troops and torched police stations.

Indian police described Wani's killing as a "major success against militants in Kashmir," where the majority of people are Muslim and sympathetic to the rebels. Indian authorities had offered a reward for Wani's capture.

In addition to the curfew, authorities blocked Internet services in the southern Kashmir valley and suspended the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu Amarnath shrine.

Wani, 22, featured prominently in propaganda for his group and was a household name. In a recent video, he called on militants to attack local policemen who supported what he called the Indian occupation of Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India and claimed by both.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters

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