October 22, 1996 in Nation/World

Brazilian Indians Holding Hostages

Compiled From Wire Services

Hundreds of Guajajara Indians pulled about 20 people off a bus and out of passing cars and are holding them hostage to demand that authorities pave a dirt highway that passes through their reservation.

About 200 Indians took the hostages Thursday, an officer at the Police Department in the remote town of Grajau, 1,250 miles north of Sao Paulo, said in a telephone interview Monday.

The Indians have blocked the highway with logs, and residents of Grajau, who also want the highway paved, have sided with the Indians and blocked entrances to the town, the officer said.

He also said police would not intervene unless the federal Indian Affairs Bureau gives its authorization.

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