Attackers kill nine; burn down nearly 200 houses in India's northeast

Suspected ethnic militia members hacked to death nine people from a rival tribe and burned down nearly 200 houses as violence continued in India's remote northeast, police said Monday. The raid raised to 17 the number of Karbi tribe members killed since early Saturday, when nearly 150 attackers opened fire on sleeping villagers in Assam state's Bagmari region. Eight died in the attack. A second wave of assaults came Sunday, when nine people were killed and 200 homes torched in a cluster of a dozen hamlets, said D.D. Tripathi, a Bagmari civil administration official. He said the killers wore Indian army uniforms.

The attackers' identities were not immediately known, but Tripathi said suspicion fell on Dimasa tribe.

The Karbi and Dimasa tribes have been engaged in a long-standing feud. The two are among dozens of ethnic groups battling for control of territory in the jungles and villages of India's remote northeastern states.

The groups are also separately fighting India's federal government, seeking independence or greater political autonomy, reports the AP. I.L.

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