Curfew continues in Kashmir as death toll reaches 23

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Strict curfew continued on Monday in most parts of the Kashmir Valley following heightened tension over the death of 23 people, including a cop, in protests against the killing of a top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani.
The victims comprised 22 civilians and a police driver. They were killed after forces opened fire on protesters, mostly in Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama districts.
Shabir Ahmad, the first victim from Srinagar succumbed to bullet injuries late Sunday evening.
Yasmeena, a resident of Damhal Hanjipora area of Kulgam district in south Kashmir who had sustained critical bullet injuries succumbed at SMHS hospital late evening, officials said.
A 13-year-old boy, identified as Asif of Zainapora Shopian died late yesterday evening after forces opened fire.
Kashmir Valley erupted in anger on Saturday after forces shot dead Burhan Wani, a top leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, along with two of his associates on Friday. His funeral was attended by tens of thousands.
Three policemen taken hostage by angry mobs in south Kashmir on Friday, returned safely, but their weapons were seized, police said here on Monday.
A total of 102 civilians and 100 security personnel were injured in the bloody clashes.
All senior separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, were placed under arrest by the authorities while the state government on Sunday requested them to help normalise the situation.
It is feared if things are not quickly brought under control, Kashmir could be in the throws of another bloody unrest when in 2010, 112 protesters died in clashes with security forces.

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