REUTERS, TIMES OF INDIA(India)
GUWAHATI - Tens of thousands villagers have fled their homes in northeast India after clashes between indigenous tribes and Muslim settlers killed at least 17 people during the weekend.
Between 25,000 and 50,000 villagers have fled their homes and taken shelter in government-run camps, after unidentified groups set ablaze houses, schools, and vehicles, and started firing indiscriminately with automatic weapons in populated areas.
Sparking the clashes on Friday night, unidentified men killed four youths on Friday night in the Bodo tribe-dominated Kokrajhar district, police and district officials told Reuters. In retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslim settlers, suspecting them to be behind the killings.
Rioting erupted in the remote state of Assam, close to the borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh, a region that has been the scene of decades of friction between the Bodo tribe and Muslim settlers, the Indian daily newspaper Times Of India reports -- although some of the biggest rebel movements have recently started peace talks with the government.