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Police break up Muslim gatherings in Indian-held Kashmir

September 19, 2018
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Kashmiri Shiite Muslims shout slogans amid tear smoke as they clash with Indian policemen during a Muharram procession in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Police and paramilitary soldiers on Wednesday used batons and fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Muslims participating in religious processions in the Indian portion of Kashmir. Authorities had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar, the region's main city, to prevent gatherings marking Muharram from developing into anti-India protests. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir have fired tear gas and used batons to break up religious processions marking the Muslim month of Muharram.

Authorities imposed a curfew in Lalchowk, the commercial hub of disputed Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, fearing the religious processions Wednesday could morph into anti-India protests.

However, clashes erupted when police attempted to stop groups of Muslims who tried to break the curfew and hold processions at several places in the city.

Residents of Indian-controlled Kashmir have often defied bans on large public gatherings since the outbreak of an armed insurgency in 1989 demanding the Himalayan region’s independence from India, or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.

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