India

In pictures: India violence survivors flee homes

Hundreds of survivors of a rebel attack that has killed at least 72 people in remote villages of India's north-eastern Assam state have taken shelter in a church and school as authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew in the affected areas.

Police blame the attacks on the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

The NDFB wants an independent homeland for the ethnic group to be carved out of Assam. Tuesday's attacks took place in areas populated by non-Bodo people.

Image copyright Reuters

Women and children were said to be among the victims of the rebel attacks in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts. Those killed and injured were mainly tribespeople who worked in the local tea gardens. Many of them are now leaving their homes and moving to safer places after the violence.

Image copyright AP

Angry tribespeople have protested against the attacks. On Wednesday, police fired on a group which surrounded a police station in Sonitpur, killing three protesters.

Image copyright AP

Some 200 tribespeople have taken shelter in a school in Sonitpur district.

Image copyright AP

Villagers who escaped the attacks told police that the armed rebels came on foot, forced open the doors of their huts and opened fire. Some villagers were pulled out of their houses and gunned down.

Image copyright AP

At least 100 tribespeople, mostly women and children, have taken shelter in a church in Shamukjuli village in Sonitpur district, where at least 37 people, including 10 women, were killed and 14 others were injured..

Image copyright AFP

There are concerns now that the violence could spread with retaliatory attacks against the Bodos. Troops have been deployed to maintain peace in the region.

Image copyright Reuters

Reports said two Bodos were also killed by tribespeople in Karigaon village and there have been incidents of Bodo homes being attacked.

Assam has been plagued by ethnic clashes and separatist violence in recent years.

A number of rebel groups have been fighting the central authorities, demanding autonomy or independent homelands for the indigenous groups they represent.

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