Shoot­ing leaves 12 dead in In­dia

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

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

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