Clashes between tribes, Muslims kill 19 in India
GUWAHATI, India - Agence France-PresseAbout 30,000 villagers have fled their homes in northeast India amid clashes between Bodo tribal groups and Muslim settlers that have seen 19 people killed so far, police said yesterday. Soldiers were out in force in the restive state of Assam to try to stop the violence over land rights, in which houses have been set ablaze and villagers forced to shelter in government buildings and schools to avoid the fighting.
“Clashes that broke out on July 20 night have so far claimed the lives of 19 people and at least 12 were also injured,” S.N. Singh, Assam inspector general of police, told AFP by telephone. “Police, army and paramilitary troopers have intensified patrols and a curfew has been imposed in many areas,” Singh said, adding there were 30,000 people in the government shelters.
Four bodies were recovered by police yesterday from Kokrajhar district, about 220 kilometres west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.
The fighting, in regions close to the borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh, is the latest outbreak of violence over long-running territorial disputes.