Police find nine Muslims slain in northeast India

Police said the bodies were discovered in India's remote northeastern Assam State on Saturday, raising the death toll to 32 following two days of fighting in the area.

The deceased included women and children, with all bodies recovered in the Narayanguri village in the Baksa district.

A wave of violence broke out on Thursday when tribal rebels killed 11 Bengali-speaking Muslim villagers in the same area.

More bloodshed followed on Friday when 12 others were slain.

Rebels from one faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were behind the attacks, police said.

The violent attacks have prompted security forces to start a massive search for the assailants.

Thousands of people have already evacuated their homes.

The attacks come as Indians vote in a multi-phased general election that began on April 7 and winds up on May 12.

Several rebel groups have been fighting the government and sometimes each other for years in India’s seven states in the northeast. They are after more regional autonomy or independent homelands for the indigenous groups they stand for.

The NDFB wants a separate homeland for the region’s ethnic Bodos who account for 10 percent of Assam’s 33 million people.

At least 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have lost their lives in such violence in Assam.