Shooting leaves 12 dead in India
ASSAM — Unidentified armed men have killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens more in a busy market area in a town in India’s northeastern Assam state, police officials say.
The attackers opened fire yesterday in the market in Kokrajhar, a town about 220km west of Assam’s commercial capital Guwahati, Sreejith T, superintendent of police, told Reuters news agency.
One of the attackers was reported to have died. Local news channels said 20 of the injured were in critical condition and the death toll was expected to rise.
Security officials in Assam were quoted as saying that three or four armed men were involved in the shooting.
Assam has a history of sectarian bloodshed and groups fighting for greater autonomy or secession from India.
Speaking to Al Jazeera via Skype from Guwahati, Mrinal Talukdar, a local journalist, said: “The wounded and the dead were innocent villagers. Among the injured were two children as well.”
No claims have been made but about three days ago, police arrested members of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDBF), a local armed group, in the same area.
Talukdar quoted a local politician as saying he suspected the NDBF of being behind the attack.
The NDFB seeks to establish a separate state for Bodo tribe members staying in Assam.
In 2012 there were clashes between Bodos and mostly Bengali Muslim settlers that resulted in hundreds of deaths. Hundreds of thousands were displaced.
Deadly riots erupted again two years later. — AlJazeera and agencies