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Kashmir’s ‘non-lethal’ pellet guns, and the injuries, blindness they cause

Kashmiri girl Insha Malik, 14, lays in a hospital bed after being shot with pellets fired by Indian security forces, with doctors saying she had lost vision in both eyes, in the surgical ICU hospital in Srinagar, in India-administered Kashmir on July 16, 2016. According to relatives, Insha was on the first floor of her home when forces fired pellet guns into the building on July 12. She was rushed to the hospital and joined hundreds of injured Kashmiris who have reported devastating eye injuries caused by “non-lethal” pellet gun firings. The death of popular rebel leader Burhan Wani in a gunfight with government forces last week sparked clashes in which more than 3,000 people, including about 200 police officers, have been injured. It is the worst civilian violence to hit the region since 2010, when mass protests broke out and left 120 dead. Hospitals in the main city of Srinagar have struggled to cope with the rush of wounded, hundreds of them with severe injuries in their eyes.

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