India’s security forces kill 14 civilians by mistake in the north-east of the country

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At least 14 civilians were mistakenly killed when Indian forces opened indiscriminate fire in the northeastern state of Nagaland, government and military officials said Sunday.

India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah said he was “distressed” by the news of civilian deaths. The region’s chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, told Reuters an investigation will be conducted and those guilty will be punished in the incident, which he blamed on an intelligence failure.

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At least a dozen civilians and some members of the security forces were injured in the attack, said a New Delhi-based federal Defense Ministry official.

Residents of Nagaland frequently accuse the forces of unfairly shooting local residents in their operations against rebel groups.

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The incident occurred near the border with Myanmar, during an operation led by members of Assam Rifles, a detachment of Indian security forces in the state, a police official said.

The shooting began when a truck carrying 30 or more coal mine workers was passing the group’s camp area.

“The soldiers received intelligence about some militant movement in the area and, upon seeing the truck, they mistook the miners for rebels and opened fire killing workers,” the police official told Reuters.

“After news of the shooting spread in the village, hundreds of villagers surrounded the camp. They burned vehicles and clashed with soldiers,” he said.

Detachment members retaliated, and in the second attack eight more civilians died, the official said.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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