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.
Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region was hit by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, with the epicenter close to the border with Tajikistan.
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso set to face execution in Indonesia as early as late Tuesday.
The changes, which strengthen Japan's role in missile defense, mine sweeping and ship inspections, are the first revisions in 18 years to the rules that govern U.S.-Japan defense cooperation.
Raji Sukumaran, Myuran Sukumaran's mother said after visiting her son, he will be executed by an Indonesian firing squad at midnight for drug trafficking
Appeals court convicts Lee Joon-seok of homicide over deaths of 304 passengers, overturning lower court’s 36-year sentence.
The first update of the U.S.-Japan defense cooperation guidelines since 1997, the revisions will reflect the biggest change in Japanese security policy in decades.
A new earthquake following Saturday's earthquake in Nepal has occurred in India
China new draft allows foreign NGOs to open branch. The first draft barred foreign NGOs from activities that violate "Chinese society's moral customs" and from setting up branches in China under any circumstances.
Lawyer for Australians in Indonesia told Indonesia's Constitutional Court has agreed to consider a last-ditch legal challenge brought by two Australian death row convicts
Aid agencies increasingly concerned about lack of access to clean water, sanitation in earthquake aftermath.
Officials said hundreds of Taliban members had attacked police and army checkposts in the province of Kunduz, President Ashraf Ghani to delay a state visit to India.
Allegations were made regarding the Indonesian judges request for money to alter death sentences
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when addressing the opening of the 26th Asean Summit, here today emphasised that 2015 would be a milestone in the history of Asean as the vision of creating a single community would be realised by year end.
Weeding out corruption in the military is a top goal of President Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, which controls China's 2.3 million-strong armed forces.
The male suspects, aged 17 to 41, were arrested on Saturday and Sunday in Ulu Langat and Cheras, suburbs near Kuala Lumpu
Roads leading out of the mountain valley city of one million were jammed with people, many with babies in their arms, trying to climb onto buses or hitch a ride aboard cars and trucks.