Twelve civilians and an ultra were today killed while several others injured when a group of heavily armed militants opened fire in a crowded market place in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
Police said the group of militants came in a car and swooped down on Balajan Tiniali market this afternoon. They opened fire and killed 12.
Security forces patrolling the area retaliated and one militant was killed, the police said.
Police have so far recovered 13 bodies and search operations are continuing in the area as the militants are suspected to be hiding in nearby buildings.
The entire area has been cordoned off by police and security personnel and the injured, many of them critical, are being shifted to nearby hospitals. The number of injured is, however, yet to be ascertained.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has condemned the killings and directed the authorities to provide medical aid to the injured.
He also directed Finance, Education and Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to rush to the spot and review the situation.
Sarma said, “Two of the extremists have been neutralised and police is looking out for another six but at this stage these are my specific assessments as I am yet to talk to the SP.
“I think details are still coming in so we have to wait for some time to find out the confirmed number of killings and the number of extremists neutralised by security forces. Bodoland territorial council chief Hagrama Mohillary has said that 12 persons are on the list of those killed. This is his version,” the minister said.
Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said security forces have reacted to it and one suspected militant as been reportedly neutralised.
“We have launched an intensive operation.,” he said.