SRINAGAR  - Protesters blocked a main highway in restive Indian-occupied Kashmir on Saturday after a young Kashmiri was shot dead by the army in what military officials described as an “accidental” shooting.

Ashiq Hussain Rather, 22, was killed late Friday when a soldier accidentally fired his rifle as security forces combed the area for militants, the army said.

The killing occurred in the Baramulla district of the scenic Kashmir valley. “It was a case of the accidental discharge of a single bullet by a soldier which led to the unfortunate incident,” Lieutenant General S A Hasnain told the Press Trust of India.

“The deceased was innocent. Inquiries have been ordered,” he added. Police used baton charges and teargas to disperse the protesters who were blocking traffic along the main Kupwara-Baramulla highway in Held Kashmir, according to media reports.

The chief minister of IHK, Omar Abdullah, said the government would investigate the death.

“We will ascertain the facts and any action will follow after that,” Abdullah told India’s NDTV channel.