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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Blamed in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India -- Police fired tear gas Tuesday to disperse hundreds of people in Indian Kashmir protesting the alleged killings of civilians in staged gun battles with security forces, witnesses said.

At least five policemen were injured in clashes with stone-throwing protesters in downtown Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital.

A strike called by a political separatist group, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, or JKLF, closed much of the Kashmir Valley, witnesses said.

Over the weekend, authorities arrested four policemen, including two senior officers, accused of killing three people in the Ganderbal area outside Srinagar late last year and passing them off as militants fighting New Delhi's rule in the region.

"[The] Peace process and killing of innocent Kashmiris cannot go together," JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said.

Earlier Tuesday, hundreds of people, led by veiled women, marched through deserted streets of Srinagar as the strike closed shops and businesses.

"We want freedom. ... Down with security forces," the protesters shouted.