Four Killed in Ethnic Violence in Northeast India

Posted July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Indian security forces shot and killed four rioters in northeastern Assam state Tuesday as authorities struggle to control ethnic fighting that has left 26 people dead and forced thousands to flee the area.

Police say the rioters were killed as they tried to commit acts of arson. Indian troops deployed to quell the unrest between Muslim settlers and Bodo tribes members have been under orders to shoot suspected rioters on sight, as the government tries to restore calm to the region.

In another incident, hundreds of people hurled stones at an express train passing through the region. Several passengers were injured.

The unrest erupted from a series of attacks involving the two groups on Friday.

Animosity and accusations of land-stealing have long simmered in the region between members of the ethnic-Bodo community and the thousands of mostly Bengali Muslim settlers, many of whom came from the former East Pakistan before it became Bangladesh in 1971.

More than 40,000 people have fled their homes since clashes began. The New Delhi government has opened shelters for those displaced.