Rebels in northeast India fire on villagers, killing 22, including women and children

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Updated: Fri, 02 May 2014 01:15:23 EST

GAUHATI, India (AP) — Police say separatist rebels wearing black masks opened fire on Muslim villagers and set their homes ablaze in remote northeastern India, killing at least 22 people over two days.

A top police official says the gunmen are members of the Bodo tribe who have long accused Muslims of sneaking into India illegally from Bangladesh and encroaching on their ancestral land in Assam state.

Police say the dead include at least six women and three children.

The leader of a Muslim youth organization in the area says tensions have been high since a Bodo lawmaker in India's Parliament criticized Muslims for not voting for the Bodo candidate.

Weeks of violence between Bodo people and Muslims killed as many as 100 people in the same area two years ago.

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APPHOTO DEL110: A man injured in an attack receives treatment at a civil hospital in Kokrajhar, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Friday, May 2, 2014. Separatist militants opened fire with automatic weapons on Muslim villagers in remote northeastern India, killing at least 10 people, including two children, in two attacks, police said Friday. Four people were wounded. (AP Photo) (2 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO DEL110 (05/02/14)££

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