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Army Called to India's Darjeeling Hills in Response to Gorkha Strike


Officials in India's West Bengal state have called in the army in response to escalating tensions with ethnic Gorkhas wanting a separate state.

Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee said on Thursday that he has asked the army to deploy in Siliguri and the surrounding area as soon as possible.

Authorities say supporters of the Gorkha Liberation Front attacked a tourist vehicle today in Jalpaiguri district. In another incident, officials say police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of Gorkha supporters in Darjeeling district.

The ethnic Gorkha community began protests earlier this week, demanding independence.

The separatist group's general secretary, Roshan Giri says the strike will continue until the government accepts demands for a separate state.

Police say many tourists -- including foreigners -- have been stranded due to a strike-caused lack of transportation.

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