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Violent Kashmir protests leave at least 19 dead

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Violent Kashmir protests leave at least 19 dead


Violent protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir have left up to 19 people dead. There have been regular anti-government demonstrations for months, but the latest unrest saw the worst number of victims in years.

Police shot dead at least 18 people after protesters set fire to government buildings and a Christian missionary school amid rumours that copies of the Koran had been burned in America. One officer is also reported killed.

Pakistan also has claims on Kashmir, and there is a fear the unrest may spill over the border. The two neighbours have twice gone to war over the region, and both now have nuclear weapons.

The protests are a serious challenge for India’s Congress-led government, which has been criticised for failing to take the increasing violence seriously.

A curfew’s been imposed with troops deployed to prevent further protests. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signalled his concern, but few ordinary Indians show much interest in Kashmir’s problems or the protests.

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