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Fishermen killed on remote Indian island

Published By United Press International
PORT BLAIR, India, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Indian police failed to recover two fishermen's bodies after the indigenous inhabitants of a remote island fired arrows at a helicopter, officials say.

The men were killed by members of the Sentinelese group when their boat drifted ashore on North Sentinel Island, The Daily Telegraph of London reported. About 50 to 200 Sentinelese live on the island and resist contact with the outside world, using Stone Age techniques to survive.

The island is part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands group in the Indian Ocean.

Sunder Raj, 48, and Pandit Tiwari, 52, were fishing for mud crabs off the island Friday, officials said, and fell asleep in their open boat. Since there is a 3-mile exclusion zone around the island, they and other fishermen in the area were there illegally.

"As day broke, fellow fishermen say they tried to shout at the men and warn them they were in danger," said Samir Acharya, the head of the Society for Andaman and Nicobar Ecology. "However they did not respond -- they were probably drunk -- and the boat drifted into the shallows where they were attacked and killed."

The crew of a police helicopter discovered the bodies in shallow graves but were unable to land and recover them because of arrows.

"Right now, there will be casualties on both sides," Dharmendra Kumar, the Andaman Island police chief in Port Blair, told the Telegraph in a telephone interview. "The tribesmen are out in large numbers. We shall let things cool down and once these tribals move to the island's other end we will sneak in and bring back the bodies."
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