Separatist rebels have killed at least 52 people and wounded a further 80 following attacks on villages in India’s northeastern state of Assam.
At least 52 people have been killed, and 80 others injured, after attacks on several villages in Assam, a state in northeast India. There are fears that the death toll could rise further, with women and children among the victims.
Police have blamed the attacks in Assam on the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) who seek an independent homeland for the Bodo ethnic group. They want this independent state carved out of Assam.
Tuesday’s attacks took place in areas populated by non-Bodo citizens. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior Assam officials condemned the attacks.
Police stated that rebels attacked villages in the Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts late Tuesday evening. Local authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew in Sonitpur, where at least 30 people, including 10 women, were killed.
Those killed were mainly tribespeople who worked in the local tea gardens, reports said.
Villagers who escaped the attacks told police that the armed rebels came on foot, forced open the doors of their huts and opened fire. Some villagers were pulled out of their houses and gunned down.
“They didn’t even spare women and children,” a police officer told press.
Bodo separatists have, in the past, targeted tribespeople in Assam, as well as Muslim settlers.