Police shoot dead at least eight from Assam tribe

GUWAHATI Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:26pm IST

A security personnel stands guard on a deserted street during a curfew at Kokrajhar town in Assam July 24, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

A security personnel stands guard on a deserted street during a curfew at Kokrajhar town in Assam July 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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GUWAHATI (Reuters) - Police shot at hundreds of tribesmen and women in Assam on Tuesday, killing eight people, the state's chief minister said, after violence broke out during village council elections.

Police were called to deal with protests by Rabha tribesmen and women who opposed the elections saying they infringed on tribal law, another senior government official said.

"Eight people have been killed in police firing in Rabha areas of Assam today," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters in the state capital Guwahati.

A leader of the Rabha tribe said he held the government responsible for the deaths.

Angry tribesmen armed with swords, hatchets, spears and axes marched to polling stations from villages of Goalpara district, police officials said.

At least two people were killed by the mobs in the early hours of the day, said Bhupen Bora, a senior official of the state's home department.

(Reporting By Biswajyoti Das, editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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