Protests rock Kashmir after fatal shooting

Thousands of protesters have flooded Kashmir's streets after Indian troops shot dead six people.
Thousands of protesters have flooded Kashmir's streets after Indian troops shot dead six people.

Tens of thousands of angry protesters have poured into the streets in Indian-controlled Kashmir, hurling rocks and shouting anti-India slogans after soldiers killed four civilians and two suspected militants.

Government forces responded with tear gas as protesters stormed the streets more than a dozen times on Monday.

The overnight shooting at a military checkpoint threatened to spark even more unrest in a region that in recent years has seen renewed rebel attacks and repeated public protests against Indian rule.

The authorities had put parts of the highly militarised region under lockdown after the late Sunday night shooting, deploying soldiers and riot police, shutting schools and internet service and ordering people off the streets in some places in an attempt to derail protests.

But widespread anger, along with funerals for the six victims and separatist calls for a business shutdown, helped ignite angry demonstrations.

Many protests centred around the town of Shopian, where the shooting occurred, a region of mountain forests and apple orchards.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from the protests.

The trouble began late Sunday night, when officials say a car refused to stop at a checkpoint outside a Shopian military base and militants inside fired at the soldiers.

Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said a rebel and three civilians were killed when soldiers fired back. A fourth civilian's body was recovered from a nearby car, officials said, and the body of another rebel was found a few kilometres away. Authorities said he was injured in the shooting and died later.

Australian Associated Press