Sun, May 04, 2014 - Page 5 News List

At least 32 slain as ethnic violence hits India’s Assam

AFP, GUWAHATI, India

A medical staff member tends to Phuleja Khatun, 25, who was injured in a suspected separatist attack, inside a hospital in the northeastern Indian city of Guwahati yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Police found nine more bodies yesterday after a deadly rampage by suspected separatists in India’s remote northeastern state of Assam, taking the death toll to 32 following two days of violence.

Te nine bodies, including those of women and children, were recovered from Narayanguri village in Baksa District, about 200km west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.

“The death toll has gone up to 32,” police inspector-general S.N. Singh told reporters. “Security has been further tightened, with police and paramilitary troopers deployed.”

Police blamed the attacks on the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which has been demanding a separate homeland for decades.

Fresh violence erupted on Friday night when suspected rebels killed 12 Muslims, a day after three villagers in the same district and eight more in neighboring Kokrajhar were killed, reportedly being shot as they slept in their homes.

The attacks have prompted a massive hunt for the gunmen and have spurred about 5,000 people to flee from their homes, Singh said.

He added that an curfew has also been imposed, with police given “shoot-on-sight” orders.

The victims were Muslim migrants involved in land disputes with indigenous Bodo people in the state bordering Bhutan and Bangladesh.

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