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Indian village raid leaves 19 dead


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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Police in India's remote northeastern state of Tripura are blaming separatist rebels for an attack that left at least 19 villagers dead.

The attack happened Tuesday night in the village of Simnachara.

The victims -- all from the Indian state of West Bengal -- included five women and three children.

Eight other settlers were reported wounded in the attack.

Police said a group of about 120 assailants wearing black masks set fire to the settlers' homes, shortly before midnight local time.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police believe the assailants are part of a group fighting for more autonomy for the northeastern state, which borders Bangladesh.

Tripura state is the scene of long-standing tensions with several tribal groups fighting to evict tens of thousands of migrants.

The native groups accuse the settlers of exploiting the state's resources and taking local jobs.

-- CNN New Delhi Bureau Chief Satinder Bindra and CNN's Suhasini Haidar contributed to this report


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