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India Violence Leaves 16 Dead

July 16, 2000

GAUHATI, India (AP) _ Tribal separatist guerrillas attacked a remote northeastern village Sunday, hacking at least 10 people to death while they were sleeping.

Armed with machetes, spears and locally made guns, nearly a dozen militants belonging to the Karbi National Volunteers raided Langparpan, a village 230 miles east of Gauhati, police said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The victims included nine from the eastern state of Bihar and one from neighboring Nepal. All had come to Assam state in search of work.

The guerrillas have been campaigning to establish the district as a tribal majority area and then fight for wide autonomy and right to self-determination. Rebels have accused the migrants of taking away jobs from poor tribespeople.

In April, at least 20 migrant workers were killed in the same district and more than 500 huts were burned.

On Saturday, clashes between security forces and separatists of the United Liberation Front of Asom left three guerrillas, one policeman and two civilians dead in Balapara, another village in Assam state, Press Trust of India news agency said.

Guerrillas have been fighting for more than two decades with security forces in Assam state, a mineral-rich region that local people say has not been developed adequately.

The rebels accuse the federal government of denying funds to remote northeastern states because they are not politically important.

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