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3 dead in new sectarian violence in northern India

Thursday - 10/31/2013, 6:40am  ET

NEW DELHI (AP) -- A clash between people from two north Indian villages left three people dead, officials said Thursday, just a month after sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims left dozens dead and led hundreds of troops to deploy to the region.

In the latest violence, three Muslim men were beaten to death Wednesday night when an argument broke out in the jungle between residents of two neighboring villages in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, local police official Hiranarayan Singh said.

Police have arrested eight people and are investigating, but could not say what the argument was about. Paramilitary troops are on patrol in the area.

The agricultural district in the impoverished state has been tense since early September, when groups of Hindus and Muslims -- some armed with guns, swords or clubs -- engaged in clashes until hundreds of Indian troops were deployed. Police arrested four local opposition politicians for allegedly inciting last month's violence, which left 62 people dead.

Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government was monitoring the situation in the state and would send troops again if necessary.

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