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Bangladesh Police Arrest 70 in Ethnic Clashes


Bangladeshi troops have arrested 70 people in connection with recent ethnic violence in the country's southeastern hills.

The clashes involving Bengali Muslim settlers and Buddhist tribes people left at least one person dead and dozens of others injured in the town of Khagrachhari on Tuesday. They erupted after tribal activists from the United People's Democratic Front blocked roads to protest the killing of two tribal people in clashes with Bengali settlers on Saturday.

The arrests were made by security forces overnight after a 10-hour curfew was imposed on the area.

Earlier clashes in the neighboring town of Baghaichhari also resulted in around 100 homes being set on fire, and prompted the government to deploy troops.

Bangladesh's government resettled landless Bengalis in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the 1980s to ease population pressures in the plains, and also to defuse a tribal insurgency.

The main tribal group in the area fought the government for autonomy for two decades before signing a peace treaty in 1997. But relations between the tribal groups and settlers have remained tense because of land disputes.

Zahurul Alam, VOA Correspondent from Dhaka, has more on this.

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