18 injured in anti-US demonstrations in J&K
9 November 2001
The Times of India
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SRINAGAR: At least 18 people were injured Friday in Kashmir after police used batons and tear-gas to break up demonstrations against the US-led air strikes on Afghanistan, witnesses said.Police fired rounds of tear- gas and in Srinagar after about 100 demonstrators took to the streets after weekly prayers at the main mosque.''Long live the Taliban'' and ''End the air strikes on innocent Muslims'' shouted the demonstrators, some of whom burned a US flag.The protesters pelted policemen with stones after they tried to end the demonstration. Witnesses said a dozen people were injured.A spokesman for Srinagar''s main hospital said four people were admitted with wounds, including Fayaz Kabli, a photographer for the Reuters news agency.Six more people were injured when police tried to quell an anti-US demonstration in Baramulla, 55 kilometers (32 miles) north of Srinagar, police said.Police had barricaded the main square to prevent several dozen youth chanting anti-US and pro-Taliban slogans from entering.The protesters responded by pelting stones, injuring two policemen. Police then charged the protesters with batons and fired tear gas shells, injuring four.Shops, schools and banks were closed in Srinagar on Friday to observe a strike in protest against the US-led strikes, called early last month in response to the Taliban''s refusal to hand over alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.Police said the strike was observed to a lesser extent in some other Kashmiri towns.The strike - called by the militant Muslim group Jamiat-ul-Mujahedin and Dukhtaran-e-Milat, or Daughters of Faith - was being observed to coincide with a strike Friday by Muslim parties in Pakistan to demand an end to US air strikes on Afghanistan.''We are perturbed by the daily killing of civilians in Afghanistan in the ongoing air strikes,'' said Dukhtaran-e-Milat leader Aasiya Andrabi. Five separatist Muslim militants were meanwhile killed in two fierce encounters in Kashmir overnight, police said.Three militants died in a clash near Kreeri, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Srinagar, while two more insurgents were killed near Shangus, 65 kilometers (38 miles) south of here, police said.Two of the slain militants belonged to the hardline Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba movement, police said.