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Three Salesians killed in India

Two priests and a seminarian were shot dead on Tuesday by a group of militants in the capital of the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur.

The victims were all members of the Salesian order, which has eight schools in the region.

At around 8:00 pm local time a group of armed men entered the Salesian Novitiate in the city and killed the novice master Fr Raphael Paliakara and two others, Fr Andreas Kindo and Shinu Joseph.

Salesian Provincial Fr Thomas Mulayinkal told the Salesian news agency in Rome that a "sense of fear has prevailed over the region for a long time" due to the demand for money made by various underground groups of militants, often in a violent manner. Fr Mulayinkal explained that the threat forced the Salesians to close down all the schools for over a month and recall the principals from their posts.

In recent years, there has been a significant number of attacks against Catholic priests.