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India Begins Airlift to Overcome Separatist Blockade

  • VOA News

India has begun airlifting needed supplies into the northeastern state of Naga to counter a blockade by separatist militants. Officials saidon Saturday that military aircraft have delivered more than 40 tons of food, medicine and other key goods to the state capital, Imphal. Army vehicles also have escorted convoys delivering cooking oil and gasoline. Militants (of the All Naga Students Association of Manipur) have been blocking the key highway into Imphal for at least two weeks, to protest the government's decision to declare July 18 as a holiday to observe "state integrity." Some Naga tribal members are demanding the integration of predominantly Naga areas into a single tribal state. In 1997, Naga leaders signed a cease-fire with the government to end decades of separatist fighting that killed about 20-thousand people.
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