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Muslims burned to death in India attack

Three killed after assailants set fire to dozens of homes in eastern village in apparent response to Hindu boy’s death.

At least three Muslim civilians have been burned to death after Hindu assailants set fire to dozens of homes of a Muslim community in an apparent retaliatory attack in eastern India, officials have said.

Atul Prasad, a Bihar state administrator, said the violence erupted on Sunday after the body of a young Hindu boy was found in Sarayian village more than a week after he went missing.

Prasad said the Hindu fishermen community blamed the Muslim community for the boy’s death as he was friendly with a Muslim girl from the village, 105km north of Patna, the capital of Bihar state.

The Associated Press quoted him as saying police have arrested eight Hindu villagers for setting the huts ablaze in the poor Muslim community.

Prasad added that the situation was now under control in the village.

Hindus comprise more than 80 percent and Muslims nearly 13 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people. They largely live together peacefully in various parts of the country, but there are occasional incidents of sectarian violence.

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