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Six killed in Indian border guards firing in Indian-controlled Kashmir


20:43, July 18, 2013

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Six civilians were killed and more than two dozen others were wounded on Thursday after border guards of India's Border Security Force ( BSF) fired at protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir, official sources said.

The firing took place at Dadam village Dadam, around 155 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The incident broke out in the early morning outside a BSF camp to protest the alleged roughing up of a mosque prayer leader (Imam) and discretion of holy Quran at the hands of BSF personnel.

"We have information six people were shot dead," said an official authorized not to talk to media. "All the injured with bullet wounds have been hospitalized."

The locals alleged BSF personnel barged into a mosque on Wednesday night and beat up the Imam, besides desecrating the holy Quran. The BSF action enraged the locals who on Thursday morning staged massive protests outside the BSF camp.

"Last night BSF men entered the mosque and desecrated the holy Quran and roughed up the Imam," said Altaf Tragwal, a local resident over the telephone."

The BSF action enraged the locals who took to the streets to stage protests Thursday morning but were dispersed by BSF men who fired bullets."

Tragwal said four people were killed in his village alone.

Police said infuriated locals threw stones at the BSF camp, and in return the security personnel fired into crowd to disperse it.

The angry protests and people then blocked the vehicular traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road that connects the region.

Reports said clashes broke out between the locals and police.

Officials in the region are tightlipped over the matter.

Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde Thursday regretted the killing of civilians and ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Meanwhile, massive protests broke out against the killings in Srinagar city. It is reported that thousands of people have gathered to protest the killing and discretion of the holy Quran.

The region's hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has called for a three-day shutdown in the region to protest the civilian killings.

The situation is tense and protests are likely to spread to other parts of the region.

The region's junior minister for home affairs and top police officer have rushed to the spot to pacify the protesters.

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