Dozen killed in rioting in India's north-east

Dozen killed in rioting in India's north-east

Dozen killed in rioting in India's north-east

Updated 13 February 2013, 0:53 AEDT

At least 12 people have been killed after riots erupted in protest against local elections in India's north-east.

Most of the dead were killed in crossfire from security forces, who were deployed to subdue the violence that broke out in Goalpara in Assam state.

The soldiers opened fire when two tribes opposing the elections began setting fire to villages and attacking government officials with spears and machetes.

Rabha and Hasong tribal villagers are demanding local autonomy and reject government rule in the area.

The protesters said Tuesday's polls to elect village councils undermined the authority of their own Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council.

North-east India has witnessed decades of friction between ethnic and separatist groups, although some rebels have recently started peace talks with the government.

More than 10,000 people have been killed during unrest in the state of Assam in the past 20 years.

AFP

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