Kashmir hospitals overwhelmed after violence

2016-07-13 16:52
Huzaif Nazir, whose eye was damaged after Indian government forces fired pellets at him during a protest, covers his face with a white cloth. (Dar Yasin, AP)

Huzaif Nazir, whose eye was damaged after Indian government forces fired pellets at him during a protest, covers his face with a white cloth. (Dar Yasin, AP)

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Srinagar - Four days of clashes between anti-India protesters and government troops have overwhelmed hospitals in India's portion of Kashmir, where doctors and other staff are reportedly exhausted from treating hundreds of patients. The violence has left at least 31 dead and more than 1 400 injured.

One doctor at the region's main government hospital said staff had performed more eye surgeries in the last three days than they had in three years.

"We've performed about 100 surgeries in the last three days. Most of them are going to lose eyesight in one eye. All we have been able to do is contain further damage," the doctor said on Wednesday.

"I've worked continuously for more than 70 hours since Saturday...operating mostly on young boys with severely damaged eyes," he added.

Want independence

The violence erupted over the weekend after government troops killed a top leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest rebel group fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. The dead included one policeman. At least 150 policemen and soldiers have been injured.

Troops used live ammunition and pellet guns to try and quell the angry, rock-throwing crowds that gathered across the region in defiance of a curfew imposed by Indian authorities.

At least 300 injured civilians, most of them wounded by bullets and pellets, have been admitted to hospital in the region's main city of Srinagar.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and most Kashmiris in the side under India's control want independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Since the 1990s, more than 68 000 people have been killed in Kashmir's uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Read more on:    india

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