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Officials: 8 killed in Kashmir during fighting

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Officials in India-administered Kashmir say eight people were killed Sunday during fighting
  • Another 24 were wounded in clashes between protesters and police
  • More than 14 people have died in the violence that erupted Friday

(CNN) -- Eight people were killed Sunday, including five in a massive blast at a police camp, as protesters clashed with police and an around-the-clock curfew continued in Indian-administered Kashmir for the third day.

Anti-India mobs shouting pro-freedom slogans blocked the only highway connecting the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley to the rest of the country for the second day running and continued to target and torch police and government properties.

The hot spot of Sunday's anti-India protests was south Kashmir's saffron-rich Pampore, where three people were killed in the day-long violence. Angry mobs blocked the highway and tried to attack the local police station after torching the office and residence of a local magistrate.

The mobs also disarmed police officers who were guarding the office of another magistrate in the town.

"The police and security forces used baton charge and tear smoke shells to stop these mobs, (but) the mobs did not relent, forcing the use of fire by the security forces. Two persons died," an official spokesman in the area said Sunday evening.

Police also opened fire to quell a mob that attacked a police post and a police camp in the Khrew village, adjacent to Pampore, 25 miles from Srinagar.

"Police Post Khrew and the police camp were attacked and set ablaze by a violent mob. One girl died," the spokesman said.

A massive blast and subsequent fire in the police camp also killed five and wounded 24 others, according to police officer Shafaqet Ahmad. The blast occurred as explosive devices stored inside the camp caught fire killing and wounding the protesters who set the camp ablaze.

The state chief minister, Omar Abdullah, made a fervent appeal to the people to help the government restore peace and normalcy in Kashmir.

"The prevailing situation in Kashmir is worrisome" he said. "Some anti-social elements are hellbent to (create) trouble, mayhem, and bloodshed in Kashmir to satiate their political designs."

India-administered Kashmir has been at a boiling point since June 11 and has seen a cycle of unabated protests, violence, curfews and security restrictions. The intensified protests and violence since Friday have left a total of 14 dead and more than 100 wounded, according to police.

Journalist Mukhtar Ahmad contributed to this report for CNN.