SRINAGAR, India, June 20, 2009 (Reuters) — Kashmir valley closed down Saturday in the latest protest over the alleged rape and murder of two Muslim women that has triggered massive anti-India demonstrations in the disputed Himalayan region.
Shops and businesses were shut and most streets deserted except for security patrols in Srinagar, the summer capital.
Anti-India protests have raged in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley since the bodies of two Muslim women were found on May 29 in Shopian town, 60 km (37 miles) south of Srinagar.
Residents say the two women, aged 17 and 22, were abducted, raped and killed by security forces.
Authorities say medical tests confirmed the rape of the women, and have ordered an investigation.
Two protesters have died and hundreds been injured in clashes with the police. Authorities Saturday deployed thousands of police across the valley, anticipating further clashes.
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