Four days of violent clashes between India's native Bodo tribespeople and Muslim immigrants has taken at least 35 lives, officials said today, while another 170,000 are estimated to have fled their homes in the facing of rising violence in India's northwestern Assam region, reported Agence-France-Press.
India deployed the military to the region, but violence raged overnight with reports of nine people killed and angry residents setting one another's homes on fire, said The Hindu.
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Assam police chief JN Choudhury told reporters today that the "situation is tense and we are getting additional paramilitary troopers," reported AFP. A curfew has been in place in the region for several days, and the New York Daily News earlier said officers had been given orders to shoot on sight in order to stamp out unrest.
Al Jazeera reported groups of people shooting weapons indiscriminately in crowded areas over the weekend. Several people have been reported brutally killed. Police on Sunday said villagers had found a six-month-old baby on a river bank near a dead woman's body, according to Al Jazeera.
The Bodo tribe and Muslim settlers have been locked in territorial disputes for years, but BBC News reported that the recent violence appears tied to the killing of four young people by an unknown man in a predominantly Bodo tribal area on July 20.
Over 200 ethnic and tribal groups live in the volatile Assam region, said Al Jazeera.