Seven die in India strife

2270393 AP Bodo woman who has been affected by ethnic violence holds her baby at a relief camp at Kambari Beel in Kokrajhar, Assam state.

New Delhi - Seven people have died in renewed fighting between indigenous tribes and Muslim settlers in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, police said on Sunday.

Five bodies were found in a paddy field in the district of Chirang late on Saturday, police said, while the bodies of two local traders were found in Dhemaji, a remote district in eastern Assam, which officials said was also a sign that the violence was spreading .

Clashes between the indigenous Bodos and Muslim settlers erupted mid-July, and an estimated 90 people have died violently since then.

More than 400 000 people have been displaced by the riots, and many have sought shelter in state-run relief camps.

A curfew was in place in Chirang and Kokrajhar, the epicentre of the riots, and the authorities have warned of strict action against the rioters.

The clashes are the latest in a long-simmering conflict between Bodos and Muslims over land rights and other issues.

Assam shares borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China, and is home to several ethnic groups, including the Bodos, and a large population of Muslims.

The Muslims are mainly migrants from Bangladesh who cross the porous border illegally, or the descendants of Bangaldeshis who migrated before India’s independence from Britain in 1947. –

Sapa-dpa



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