Teenager dies as protests rock Indian Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India – Police were investigating the reported shooting death of a teenager in the capital of Indian Kashmir on Friday, an officer said, an incident that threatens to enflame protests that have rocked the city this week following the death of another boy.

Mushtaq Ahmed, a witness, said paramilitary soldiers charged at a group gathered in a playground in Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir, and began firing as they fled, killing his friend Zahid Farooq Shah, 17.

Police official Hemant Lohia confirmed the death of Shah and said police were investigating.

“It’s an unfortunate incident. We’re gathering information from the area to know what exactly happened,” Lohia said.

The government has banned the assembly of more than four people in Srinagar in an attempt to suppress protests which broke out after another teenage boy was killed when he was hit by a police tear gas shell Sunday.

Elsewhere in the city on Friday, angry mobs hurled rocks at police who fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them.

At least 80 protesters have been arrested in Srinagar over the past two days, said Sajad Ahmed, a police officer.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety. Separatists, including armed rebels, seek Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the violence in the region over the past two decades.

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