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6 protesters killed by Indian forces in Kashmir

Six were dead and dozens injured after Indian forces fired into a crowd of protesters, angry over alleged religious desecration.

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Activists defy a curfew in Kashmir Valley on Feb. 11, 2013. (Rouf BHAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Six protesters were killed and dozens more injured in Kashmir after Indian Border Security forces fired into a crowd of protesters, who claimed that the soldiers had entered a religious seminary and desecrated the Quran.

There were conflicting reports of the cause of the clash.

The Associated Press reported that the clash occurred after Border Security forces allegedly entered the seminary looking for a militant Wednesday night, then ripped pages out of the Muslim holy book and beat a caretaker. 

Other sources claimed that the troops entered a mosque to complain about overly loud prayers. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Kashmir policeman and two militants dead in gunfight 

"They beat him up...that is when Abdul Lateef (the caretaker) raised an alarm and people started to assemble and the word spread," madrasa head Qari Shabir told Agence-France Presse from Gool. 

Enraged, thousands of villagers marched to the seminary, clashing with government troops along the way who appear to have indiscriminately opened fire into the crowd.

“It is mayhem. Six are dead and dozens injured. The death toll could rise further,” Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported a police officer saying

"I have ordered an inquiry to be conducted without any loss of time to ascertain the circumstances leading to the firing," said India's Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in a statement"I assure that any use of excessive force or irresponsible action shall be dealt with strictly," he said.

A high security alert has been issued for the entire state of Kashmir, while religious and separatist leaders alike have called for a statewide shutdown on Friday in protest over the incident. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/130718/protesters-killed-indian-forces-kashmir