NORTH SENTINEL ISLAND — An American missionary was killed last week by an indigenous tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands near India, reports Indian network NDTV.
Indian police say 27-year-old John Allen Chau paid seven fishermen to ferry him to North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal so he could meet with the Sentinelese people.
The Sentinelese people violently resist contact with the outside world and are known to attack outsiders with arrows and spears.
Seven local fishermen admitted to taking Chau to the island and dropping him off near the shore, reports NDTV.
“The fishermen told the police that they last saw the American man facing a flurry of arrows after he landed on the island on Nov. 16,” said NDTV. “The tribes dragged the American to the beach. …As they were sailing away they saw Mr. Chau’s body half-buried in the sand,” said NDTV.
The fishermen were arrested for taking Chau to the protected island. Contact with the Sentinelese or any of the isolated tribes who live nearby is illegal.
A helicopter has been dispatched to look for Chau’s body, but Indian authorities say it can’t land for fear of attack.
The US government has not confirmed or denied reports of Chau’s death.
“We are aware of reports concerning a US citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” a spokeswoman for the US consulate in Chennai said in an email to news agency Reuters.
The consulate declined to provide further details over privacy concerns.
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