16-05-2022 03:36 PM Jerusalem Timing

India: Gunmen Kill 12 in Attack on Market in Northeast

India: Gunmen Kill 12 in Attack on Market in Northeast

Gunmen on Friday opened fire on a busy market in a restive area of northeast India, killing 12 people and wounding several others, police said.

Gunmen on Friday opened fire on a busy market in a restive area of northeast India, killing 12 people and wounding several others, police said.

Authorities in Assam state where the attack took place blamed the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which waged a violent decades-long campaign for an independent homeland for the indigenous Bodo people.India attack

Police said there were around six gunmen, one of whom was killed after the attack by security forces.

"The attack was carried out by the Songbijit faction of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)," Assam police chief Mukesh Sahay told AFP.

"There could be five to six militants involved in the attack. We are trying to zero in on the remaining militants after our forces were able to neutralise one."

He said the attackers also used a grenade, setting off a fire at a building in the marketplace which was packed with shoppers.

The state government said police and paramilitary reinforcements had been rushed to the scene in Balajan, around 220 kilometers (140 miles) west of Assam's main city of Guwahati and near the border with Bhutan.

Assam's recently elected Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the killings and pledged strong action against the perpetrators.

Northeast India, linked to the rest of the country by a narrow land bridge, has seen decades of unrest among ethnic and separatist groups.

The region is home to dozens of tribal groups and small guerrilla armies that resist rule from New Delhi.

Many are fighting for separate homelands for their tribes, and they often compete against each other.