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Iran underlines peaceful solution to Kashmir tensions

19 July 2016 13:57

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Iran has stressed the need for the resolution of tensions in the mountainous Himalayan region of Kashmir through peaceful means.

Bahram Ghasemi, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday that the differences in Kashmir “are only solvable through peaceful means.”

He also called on the parties involved in the conflict to exercise utmost self-restraint.

A police spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that Indian soldiers had fired shots at a group of protesters in Kashmir the previous night, killing three people.

The security official said the demonstrators had blocked a main road, and started throwing stones at an army convoy.

“Some miscreants then tried to snatch weapons from the army and tried to set vehicles on fire,” the police spokesman added.

The government forces then opened fire at the protesters, killing two women on the spot. A third person died in the hospital early on Tuesday.

The latest deaths took to 42 the number of people killed in Kashmir since protests erupted over the killing of Burhan Wani, a top figure in the pro-independence Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) group, in a shootout with Indian troops on July 8.

About 3,500 people have also been hurt, with many suffering from eye injuries caused by pellet guns that Indian forces have been using to disperse the crowds over the past few days.

Local authorities have ordered restrictions on the movement of people and traffic in several parts of Kashmir, suspended internet and mobile networks, and halted cable television broadcasting.


Indian paramilitary troopers patrol along a street during the curfew in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 18, 2016.

Kashmir lies at the heart of a bitter territorial dispute between India and Pakistan since they became independent and partitioned in 1947.

New Delhi and Islamabad both claim the restive region in full but rule parts of it. The two countries have fought two wars over the disputed territory.

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire in Kashmir on November 26, 2003, and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with the two sides trading accusations of violating the ceasefire along their de facto border dividing the disputed region.

Cross-border frictions have frequently flared up between troops from the two neighbors along the disputed de facto border in Kashmir.

Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir over the past two decades.

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