Indian authorities begin easing clampdown in Kashmir

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Indian authorities begin easing clampdown in Kashmir
Kashmiri Muslims hold placards and shout pro-freedom slogans during a demonstration after Friday prayers amid curfew like restrictions in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. Hundreds of Kashmiris held a street protest in the Indian-controlled Kashmir even as India's government assured the Supreme Court on Friday that the situation in disputed Kashmir is being reviewed daily and unprecedented security restrictions will be removed over the next few days, an attorney said after the court heard challenges to India's moves. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

NEW DELHI (AP) — Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have begun restoring landline phone services after a nearly two-week unprecedented security crackdown and news blackout following a decision to downgrade the majority-Muslim region’s autonomy.

Administrator Shahid Choudhary says restrictions are being lifted in most areas and government offices will open on Saturday for service delivery.

Security forces that blanketed the region remain on high alert as hundreds of people took to the streets for an anti-India protest after Friday prayers in Srinagar, the main city in the divided Himalayan region.

The U.N. Security Council met to discuss Kashmir for the first time in decades, and Pakistan’s ambassador said the session showed that people in the region “may be locked up … but their voices were heard today.”