Kashmir violence: 16 die after key militant killed

Image source, AP
Image caption,
Clashes erupted in Srinagar on Sunday and in other areas of Indian-administered Kashmir

Clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir in the wake of the killing of a popular separatist commander have now left 16 people dead and 200 injured.

Burhan Wani, 22, who was well-known due to his prominence on social media, died in a gunfight with the Indian army on Friday.

Thousands attended his funeral on Saturday.

Divided Kashmir has been a flashpoint for India and Pakistan, triggering three wars between the nations.

Both claim the region in its entirety. A number of militant groups in Muslim-majority Indian-administered Kashmir are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

The funeral of Burhan Wani, a commander of the region's largest rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, was held in his hometown of Tral, about 40km (25 miles) south of Srinagar, on Saturday.

The Indian government said no police or security personnel were present at his funeral, to avoid a confrontation with the angry crowd.

A curfew has been imposed, with internet and mobile phone services blocked in some areas.

However, after the funeral, police stations and military installations were attacked in violent clashes across the region.

A policeman reportedly died after protesters pushed his armoured vehicle into a river in the southern Anantnag area.

Thousands of government forces in riot gear have been deployed across the state.

The BBC's South Asia correspondent, Justin Rowlatt, says this is the worst violence in the region for some years and the fear is that if it is not brought under control soon, many more people could be killed and injured.

The level of separatist insurgency violence has ebbed and flowed since 1989, but it has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians.