Asia

Death toll from Kashmir clashes rises to 36

At least three dozen people are now confirmed dead following days of violent clashes between protesters and New Delhi forces over the killing of a popular rebel leader in the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir.

Two injured protesters succumbed to their wounds in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, raising the death toll to 36 since July 8.

Hospitals across the Muslim-majority region have been overwhelmed with patients. Over 1,500 people have been injured, many of them critically.

Doctors at a main government hospital say they performed more eye surgeries in the last three days than they ever did in three years. Medical sources have expressed serious concern that a severe lack of blood and life-saving medicines could cause more deaths.

Indian authorities on Wednesday extended a curfew in most parts of the region. Thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear have been deployed to the streets of many areas, including the city of Srinagar.

Clashes erupted after Burhan Wani, a top figure in the pro-independence Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) group, was killed along with two others in a shootout with Indian troops.

Anti-riot troops have used live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas to disperse the crowds and calm down the outrage over the past few days.

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