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Rival ethnics clashes claim nine lives in fresh attack in India’s northeast

India Rival ethnic groups fired at each other in fresh violence in India’s remote northeast that left at least nine people dead and some injured, officials said Wednesday, the latest incident in weeks of violence sparked by long-standing ethnic tensions. Manipur saw days of deadly clashes in May, prompted by a dispute over access to government jobs and other perks.

Authorities have moved nearly 40,000 people from troubled areas to safer places. Unidentified gunmen stormed Kamenlok village on the outskirts of state capital Imphal late Tuesday and shot indiscriminately at houses using “sophisticated weapons”, Manipur government information officer Heisnam Balakrishna added.

Three people have been reported missing, the officer said.

At least 100 people have been killed in severe ethnic clashes in Manipur state since May 3, and thousands of homes have been burned and shops and businesses vandalized.

Authorities have moved nearly 40,000 people from troubled areas to safer places.

Tensions in the state came to a head last month between the majority Meitei, who are mostly Hindus and live in and around Imphal, and the mainly Christian Kuki tribe in the surrounding hills.

The Kuki community had protested Meitei demands for reserved public job quotas and college admissions as a form of affirmative action.

This also stoked long-held fears among the Kuki that the Meitei might also be allowed to acquire land in areas currently reserved for them and other tribal groups.

Manipur is part of India’s remote northeast, a region linked to the rest of the country by a narrow land corridor.

A curfew remains in force and internet shut in most of Manipur, where tens of thousands of soldiers were sent to control the violence last month.

The situation in the state remains fraught despite a visit this month by India’s home minister Amit Shah, who demanded the return of assault rifles seized from police stations when the violence began.

 

 

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