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Clashes mar Eid celebrations in Kashmir

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Clashes broke out between youths and security forces in several areas of and Anantnag districts after Eid prayers today even as separatist leaders including Syeed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were put under house arrest as a precautionary measure.

The youth in groups started pelting stones at police and paramilitary forces in many areas of the city after Eid prayers, police said, adding they were chased away by the security forces.

Clashes were reported from Eidgah, Rajouri, Kadal and some other areas of downtown Srinagar and at a few places in Anantnag district, a police officer said.

He said the forces used tear smoke shells to disburse the protesting youths.

Two journalists were injured in clashes at Eidgah, the officer said, adding the rest of the Kashmir valley witnessed peaceful Eid prayers.

Flags of and militant group Al-Jehad were also waved by some youths in some areas of downtown Srinagar, he said.

The authorities have placed most of the separatist leaders, including the heads of both factions of Hurriyat conference, under house arrest.

Syeed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Sabhir Shah and many other separatist leaders were put under house arrest, the officer said, adding the decision to impose restriction on their movement was taken in view of the apprehension of law and order problem.

The authorities have snapped Internet services across Kashmir Valley fearing misuse by anti-social elements.

The directive by police to all service providers, on the eve of Eid, came amid fear of communal tensions in the backdrop of a high court order for implementation of an old law that bans slaughter and selling of beef.

Some separatist groups had said they would defy the court order.