Clashes rock parts of Shopian, Pulwama in south Kashmir

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Srinagar: Government forces burst tear smoke shells and fired pellets to quell pro-freedom protests that broke out this morning in parts of Shopian and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir.

Scores of people, mostly youth hit the streets in Kundalan village of Shopian, where army, police and CRPF are fighting a group of militants holed up in a residential house, witnesses told Kashmir Reader. Angry protesters threw rocks at the government forces triggering off fierce clashes.

In retaliation, witnesses said, government forces burst tear smoke shells, fired pellets and live ammunition to chase away the protesters.

At least twenty people, witnesses said, were injured in the clashes. Five of the youth with bullet injuries have been  referred to Srinagar hospital for treatment.

The district authorities in Shopian have ordered closure of all colleges fearing escalation in protests.

Meanwhile, clashes also broke out in Rajpora, Murran and Main Chowk in the neighbouring Pulwama district. Government forces used teargas canisters after failing to chase away protesters with batons.

More details emerging