India wounds 80 Kashmiris during Ashura procession

The procession was marking Ashura, a ritual period of mourning for Shi'ites marking the death of the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

India wounds 80 Kashmiris during Ashura procession

At least 80 people were wounded on Tuesday when Indian police broke up a procession by thousands of Shi'ite Muslims in the disputed region of Kashmir, police said.

The procession was marking Ashura, a ritual period of mourning for Shi'ites marking the death of the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

Indian block on public gatherings, including religious processions as well as pro-independence marches have been imposed in Kashmir since 1989.

The mourners, many beating their chests with their fists, chanted "La ilaha illalah" (There is no god but Allah).

Police blocked the procession, claiming the mourners were led by pro-independence Muslim group in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital.

Police fired teargas to Shi'it Kashmiris in several parts of Srinagar after the procession was stopped, witnesses said, mourners throwed stones.

"More than 150 people were detained," police officer Parvez Mohammed said.

During the first Muslim month of Muharram, Shi'ites across the world mourn the death of the Prophet's grandson Imam Hussein in the Iraqi city of Kerbala in 680.

Tuesday's procession in Srinagar was headed by members of Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen Jammu Kashmir, part of the region's main alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference.

"We strongly condemn the excessive use of force and police brutality," said Moulana Abbas Ansari, a leading Shi'ite priest and chief of Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen.

Reuters
Last Mod: 07 Ocak 2009, 12:15
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