Kashmiris protest blaze at Sufi shrine
Fire gutted one of the most revered Sufi Muslim shrines in the India-held Kashmir region on Monday sparking clashes between police and Muslim protesters, witnesses said.

At least six people were hurt in Kashmir's main city of Srinagar when police fired teargas at stone-throwing protesters enraged over the destruction of the 350-year-old wooden shrine which housed a relic of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, an 11th century Sufi saint, police said.

"After morning prayers, fire started from the roof top of the shrine. We're still trying to determine the cause," said Farooq Ahmad, a police official at the scene.

"The holy relic of the Sufi saint is safe and has been retrieved."

Police sealed off roads leading to the shrine where hundreds of men and women had gathered, many of them wailing and crying.

"I feel like I've lost everything," cried a 45-year-old woman, Shameema Akhtar, tears rolling down her cheeks.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed in the years of strife in India-held region.

Fire gutted one of the most revered Sufi Muslim shrines in the India-held Kashmir region on Monday sparking clashes between police and Muslim protesters, witnesses said.

At least six people were hurt in Kashmir's main city of Srinagar when police fired teargas at stone-throwing protesters enraged over the destruction of the 350-year-old wooden shrine which housed a relic of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, an 11th century Sufi saint, police said.

"After morning prayers, fire started from the roof top of the shrine. We're still trying to determine the cause," said Farooq Ahmad, a police official at the scene.

"The holy relic of the Sufi saint is safe and has been retrieved."

Police sealed off roads leading to the shrine where hundreds of men and women had gathered, many of them wailing and crying.

"I feel like I've lost everything," cried a 45-year-old woman, Shameema Akhtar, tears rolling down her cheeks.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed in the years of strife in India-held region.

Last Modified: 2012-06-25 14:38:58
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