World Bulletin / News Desk
Trucks loaded with women, children, mattresses and bags of rice rolled into a refugee camp in India's northeastern Assam state on Thursday, as security forces tried to stamp out the worst communal violence in a decade with shoot-on-sight orders.
The death toll from clashes between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers rose to 40 overnight, police said, after four more bodies were found. Police also opened fire on groups armed with sticks and spears for violating a curfew.
Fearing for their lives, tens of thousands of Muslims and Bodos have fled their homes in remote hamlets along the border with Bhutan, and sought shelter in camps in larger towns. Roving armed bands have set ablaze hundreds of tin-roofed homes, many made of hay and clay, in the nearly week-long orgy of violence.
Local officials estimate 150,000 people have been displaced by the fighting. The relief camp in a school in the town of Bijni is just one of nearly 60 hastily set up to cope with the flood of refugees, officials said.
Many of the camps lack food, water and security. Angry refugees surrounded a group of state lawmakers visiting the Bijni camp on Wednesday and demanded they take action.
"Go back, go back," they chanted.
"There is no security at all," complained Habibur Rahman, 45, who fled to the camp earlier this week along with his parents, sister, wife and daughter.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents Assam in parliament's upper house, may fly to the area on Saturday, his office said.
Ringed by China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan, India's northeast is home to more than 200 ethnic and tribal groups and has been racked by separatist revolts since India's independence from Britain in 1947.
In recent years, Hindu and Christian tribes have increased violence against settlers from mostly Muslim Bangladesh, which neighbours Assam.
The latest violence erupted days after floods killed more than 100 people and left at least 400,000 homeless in Assam.
Bodos have felt marginalised in their homeland by waves of immigration since the 1950s, accusing the central government of allowing the flow of immigrants to win votes from the settlers.
In 1983, at least 2,000 people, mainly Bangladeshi Muslims, were killed in clashes in central Assam.
The violence of the past week has been concentrated in the Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, situated in a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Bhutan and Bangladesh. Both districts were reported to be quiet overnight after army reinforcements were dispatched to help police and paramilitary forces.
But in recent days the pattern has been for attacks to be carried out under the cover of darkness.
Violence, however, flared in another area, Baska, when police opened fire on a group of Bodos violating the curfew. At least three Bodos were wounded, said L.R. Bishnoi, the top policeman in the state.
In Dhubri district near Kokrajhar a police patrol fired on a group of Muslims, killing at least one, Bishnoi said.
Railway officials said train services between Assam and the rest of India resumed, escorted by "pilot" engines carrying armed guards, after attacks forced a halt earlier this week.
Both Moscow and Kiev have accused the other of shooting across the border, and Ukraine says missiles shot from Russia may have downed two of its fighter jets this week
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At least 3 hae been confirmed dead, 10 rescued and 8 missing after an overloaded vessel carrying illegal Indonesian workers capsized.
Israeli air force dropped about 3,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip in the first 15 days of the conflict, including 120 tons in the border town of Shejaia alone
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Abbott said that Russian-backed rebels who control the area were tampering with evidence on "an industrial scale" and argued that outside police or possibly military forces were needed to ensure that did not continue.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said leaders should show flexibility so that political deadlocks could be broken and Iraq could confront militants.
State media said "millions" of people joined the rallies nationwide, which were called to mark Iran's annual day of solidarity with Palestinians.
At least three women and a three-year-old child were among those killed.
Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades was enraged when Turkish Cypriot president Dervis Eroglu refused to accept certain proposed terms, raising his voice, slamming his fist and throwing his glasses across the room in anger.
Jordanian government spokesman said the "aerial target was shot after being intercepted" when it violated Jordanian air space near the northern border city of Mafraq.
U.N. health agency said that four hospitals, including al Aqsa hospital in the coastal strip, had been damaged in the conflict that began on July 8 when Israel launched air strikes
Yatseniuk, Ukraine's point man for the West during much of the turmoil in the country since November, tendered his resignation on Thursday, saying parliament was betraying its people's demands
Brazil called the escalation of violence "unacceptable" and recalled its ambassador for consultations.