Kashmir calm but curfew continues

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Srinagar, July 13: Kashmir Valley was calm but large areas were under strict curfew for a fifth day on Wednesday even as two more persons wounded in street clashes died here, taking the death toll to 36 in the violence triggered by the death of a top militant five days ago.

Government officials said two civilians who had received bullet injuries in clashes with security forces succumbed early on Wednesday.

Kashmir calm but curfew continues

A strict curfew was in place in large parts of the valley as the state observed "Martyrs' Day" to remember Kashmiris killed in police firing on protesters marching against the Dogra rule on July 13, 1931.

Under a heavy security cover, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited the matryrs' graveyard in the curfew-bound old city of Srinagar with her senior cabinet colleagues. She paid tributes to the martyrs and made a fresh appeal for calm in the valley.

"I appeal to everybody to restore calm and peace so that further loss of lives is avoided," the Peoples Democratic Party leader said.

She said "the loss of precious lives" in firing by security forces since the July 8 killing of militant commander Burhan Wani was "regretted but nothing can bring them back.

"While I am deeply grieved, my grief cannot match that of the families who have lost their near and dear ones," Mehbooba Mufti said.

The Kashmir Valley has been on the edge after security forces killed Wani, 22, and two of his associates in a south Kashmir village.

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Wani's killing triggered a vicious cycle of protests by unruly mobs. More than 1,500 people have been injured in days of deadly clashes between protesters and security forces across the valley.

South Kashmir has been the worst hit with most deaths reported from there. Thirty-three of the 36 deaths in the violent stir are from there.

One person each has been killed in Srinagar and north Kashmir's Kupwara district. The dead also included a police constable who was drowned in the Jhelum river by a mob near Bijbehara town, also in the south.

IANS

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