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Rioting mob sets fire to student's car in revenge attack

Five arrested after 'revenge' assault on Tanzanian student in India

Police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore arrested five people yesterday over an enraged mob's attack on a Tanzanian student.

The 21-year-old woman was beaten and had her shirt ripped off and her car set ablaze in the city.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj branded the attack "shameful" and demanded swift justice for those responsible as she moved to defuse any diplomatic tensions over the incident, AFP reported.

"We are deeply pained over the shameful incident with a Tanzanian girl," Ms Swaraj tweeted.

She said: "I have asked the (state's) chief minister to ensure safety and security of all foreign students and stringent punishment for the guilty."

The mob attacked the 21-year-old and her male friends on Sunday night in apparent revenge for a road accident in which a Sudanese driver ran over a local woman, killing her.

The student said that the rioting mob attacked her car as they drove near the scene of the accident less than an hour later.

"Our car was set ablaze. They tugged at my T-shirt and it tore, leaving me without anything.

"They continued to thrash us and we ran for our lives," she was quoted by the Times of India as saying in her complaint, which was lodged with the police on Wednesday.

"My friends and I hopped onto a bus. The driver didn't move and the other passengers threw us out. A passer-by who also offered me his T-shirt was also thrashed."

Bangalore police commissioner N. S. Megharikh said that five people have been arrested over the attack, which he said was a road rage incident and not racially motivated.

But Tanzanian High Commissioner John W. H. Kijazi said India and African nations needed to work together to halt such incidents which "are occurring time and again".

"It's not a once in a while event, they come several times in a year," he told the NDTV network yesterday.

Bangalore is home to hundreds of foreign students, including 150 from Tanzania.

But there have been clashes between them and locals.

"We are living in fear. The government and the police must do something about it," BBC quoted an African woman studying in the city as saying.

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