Tags: India | Assam | attack | kill

Tribal Guerrillas Kill 33 in Wave of Attacks in Northeast India

Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 12:59 PM

Suspected tribal separatists killed at least 33 people, including women and children, in India's northeastern state of Assam on Tuesday, police said.

Assam has a history of sectarian bloodshed and armed groups fighting for greater autonomy or secession from India.

Police suspect militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were behind four attacks that took place on Tuesday within the space of an hour. The group is fighting for a separate homeland for indigenous Bodo tribesmen, saying that the tea-growing state has been flooded with outsiders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a Twitter post that the killings of innocent people were an act of cowardice.

Villagers who fled the carnage told police that the rebels came on foot, armed with assault rifles and wearing military uniforms. They forced open the doors of their thatched huts and opened fire.

Some people were pulled out of their houses and shot at point-blank range.

In one village in Sonipur district, 21 people were killed. "They didn't even spare women and children," said a police officer, adding there were at least 10 women among the dead.

Indian security forces launched a campaign last month to flush out the rebels from their hideouts, prompting a threat from them to kill outsiders.

Police inspector general S. N. Singh told reporters in the main city, Guwahati, that additional forces were being sent in to hunt down the militants. He said villagers at risk will be evacuated to safer places.

The Bodo group had last struck in May, killing dozens of Muslim settlers and prompting a heavier police presence in Muslim neighborhoods. But on Tuesday they struck at settlers more broadly.

Assam is one of seven states in India's remote northeast, a region bounded by China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh. For long residents have accused the federal government of plundering its natural resources and ignoring local development.

Modi has vowed to accelerate development of roads and rail networks in the area to narrow the gap with Chinese infrastructure just over the border.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Suspected tribal separatists killed at least 33 people, including women and children, in India's northeastern state of Assam on Tuesday, police said.
India, Assam, attack, kill
337
2014-59-23
Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 12:59 PM
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