India’s top math teacher has been killed by militants as he prepares to teach abroad

NEW DELHI (AP) A top math professor has been shot dead by militants in the country’s south, an apparent retaliation for his decision to teach in a foreign country, raising questions about India’s commitment to liberalizing its education system amid a decades-long insurgency.

The attack on the professor and two other staff members at the Bharatiya Math and Science Academy in the central Indian state of Assam on Monday night left seven other students dead, the school’s chief executive officer said.

An official at the Assam police station said a man named Asif Khan was killed in the assault.

The other five killed were said to be students.

The incident comes amid an escalation in violence between India and China, a nuclear-armed power that has been angered by the country s military involvement in disputed territory in the South China Sea.

China has also called for India to stop allowing a Chinese military base to be built on its territory, a sentiment that India rejects.

China views India as an enemy and has warned of possible retaliation.

India has dismissed Beijing’s calls and accused Beijing of supporting armed groups that are fighting for an independent India.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that the attack in Assam was an “unprovoked attack” and asked the Assamese government to investigate the attack.

The ministry said it had been informed by the government of India.

It did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack, saying it “does not reflect the confidence we can have in the leadership of India, and in the government’s ability to confront the threat of extremism in the region.”

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