Wild elephants kill three, injure 20 in Bangladesh

Rampaging wild elephants on Friday killed at least three villagers and injured 20 others in a remote Bangladeshi village near its border with India, officials said. A herd of 60 to 65 wild elephants attacked the villagers at Haldigram in Sherpur district when the residents tried to drive away the animals, which were damaging crops, said area's chief government administrator Swapan Kumar Gosh. The area is 144 kilometers (90 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka.

At least three people including a 13-year old boy died at the scene, Gosh said. Another 20 villagers were injured as they either tried to save the victims from the elephants or run for safety, he said. The injured were being treated at a local hospital, he said. Officials said large herds of wild elephants venture into human settlements at this time of the year looking for food and attack those who try to stop them.

Gosh said the villagers usually use firecrackers at night and beat drums to scare away the elephants, which have been known to attack villagers, damage crops and flatten trees and mud-and-straw huts in the impoverished farming area.

A total of 33 people have been killed by the wild elephants in the district over the past four years, officials said, reports the AP. I.L.

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