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India official takes blame in deadly poll violence

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February 13, 2013 07:24 AM EST | AP

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GAUHATI, India — The chief minister of India's northeastern Assam state said Wednesday that he was taking responsibility for violence that killed 19 people during local elections.

The violence erupted Tuesday when a local tribe protested against village council elections, fearing they were part of a government plan to infringe on the tribe's autonomy.

Thirteen of the victims were killed by police firing at violent protesters and another six were killed in clashes between protesters and counter-protesters, said Assam's chief minister, Tarun Gogoi. In addition, 300 houses were burned down.

"I take full responsibility for not being able to provide security in the area," Gogoi said.

He accused opposition parties of instigating the violence and appealed to all parties to end the conflict.