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India Deploys Troops After Rebels Kill Dozens in Assam

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Image: INDIA-UNREST-NORTHEAST
An injured women and her child arrive at a hospital in the Sonitpur district of Assam after a spate of attacks left dozens dead on Dec. 23, 2014.STRDEL / AFP - Getty Images

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NEW DELHI, India — The death toll from rebel violence in the remote northeastern Indian state of Assam rose to 52 after a series of coordinated attacks, police said Wednesday. Hridayananda Das, a police inspector in state capital Guwahati said rebels gunned down at least 37 Adivasi, or tribal settlers, in the Sonitpur district and 15 others in Kokrajhar, in five coordinated attacks late Tuesday. All those killed were Adivasis who largely work in tea gardens in the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the violence. Assam's Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, said rebels of one faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland were behind the massacre. India's Home Ministry rushed several thousand federal paramilitary troops to the region, junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said.

Adivasis, who migrated to Assam more than 100 years ago, have been targeted by Bodo rebels in the past along with Muslim settlers in the state. Disputes over land and jobs have been at the heart of the clashes. The National Democratic Front of Bodoland has been fighting for a separate homeland for ethnic Bodo people for decades.

— The Associated Press

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