The four-legged creatures have so far claimed the lives of at least seven people, including four children, in the eastern state of Bihar.

Locals are blaming the attacks on jackals.

Recent floods have displaced hundreds of the animals from their forest habitat in Bihar, bringing them into contact with humans.

The four children died in Samastipur district, some 175 kilometers from the provincial capital of Patna.

the jackals attack while residents are sleeping in the open

Lalan Singh, a village official said the jackals attacked while residents were sleeping in the open.

Another three people, including a woman, died of jackal bites in Belamegh in the same district.

Elsewhere, another six children have been badly injured by the marauding jackals.

Besides striking fear, the jackals have also stirred the normally slothful local authorities, who have now urged villagers not to sleep in the open.

But many villagers are forced to sleep under the stars after losing their homes in the heavy rains.

Bihar is India's poorest state and the recent floods have pushed its residents into further penury.