Anti-India protests persist despite strict curfew in Kashmir

Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have extended a strict curfew to most parts of the restive region as separatist leaders called for weekend protests against Indian rule.

Government troops in armored vehicles patrolled the streets Saturday to thwart any attempt by protesters in Srinagar to march to the city's commercial center.

Separatist leaders, who challenge India's sovereignty over Kashmir, urged Kashmiris to march to a historic square over the weekend to demand a referendum to decide the future of the region.

Despite the stringent curfew, protests erupted at about eight places in the city on Saturday. At two places, police and paramilitary soldiers fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to stop rock-throwing protesters.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in the clashes.