Fire in Indian refugee camp kills 21


GUWAHATI – At least 21 people in a refugee camp in northeastern India, mostly women and children, died on Saturday after a kitchen fire spread rapidly through huts of bamboo and plastic sheets, a police officer said. The fire destroyed one of six camps in the Kanchanpur area, about 170 km (105 miles) northeast of Tripura state’s capital Agartala. The camps house over 14,000 people from the Reang or Bru tribes out of around 40,000 who fled the neighbouring state of Mizoram in October 1997 due to the ethnic violence.
Over 100 other refugees sheltered in the camps suffered burns, Nepal Das, a police officer in Agartala, said and added the injured were moved to local hospitals and the critically wounded were airlifted to the state capital. The state of Tripura in northeast India, an area full of ethnic and separatist violence, is surrounded on three sides by Bangladesh and borders Indian states of Mizoram and Assam.