Army called to curfew-bound Kashmir villages after clashes

Srinagar, Feb 26 (IANS) Army was called to patrol in 10 curfew-bound Kashmir villages as tension continued Friday, a day after sectarian clashes erupted, police said.

Paramilitary troopers and and police were deployed in the sensitive villages of Baramulla district with mixed population of Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Army patrolled throughout the day in the curfew-bound areas as announcements were made asking people to remain indoors as tension prevailed in the villages.

The Shia-Sunni clashes erupted Thursday afternoon. Sunnis were strongly resisting the naming of a market square in the Kangamdora village, 30 km from here, after a Shia cleric which triggered the quarrel and later clashes.

Shias had erected a board in the market, which was torn down by the Sunni villagers. This led to fierce clashes in the village and its adjoining areas.

Over three dozen shops and houses were destroyed during the violence and nearly 20 people were wounded, four seriously.

In the north Kashmir Pattan town, police fired warning shots to disperse a mob of protesters.

‘We are watching the situation and today senior ministers visited the village on the instructions of the chief minister. The elders of the two communities have met and resolved to lend all support to the government to restore peace,’ a police officer said.

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