At least 12 people were killed and nearly 20 others injured on Friday after suspected militants opened fire on a crowded market in Assam.
3-4 masked gunmen arrived in a motorized rickshaw and fired automatic weapons and lobbed grenades in the crowded market in Balajan, an area just outside the town of Kokrajhar in western Assam, said top police official L R Bishnoi.
Dozens of rebel groups have been fighting the government and sometimes each other for years in seven states in the northeast. They demand greater regional autonomy or independent homelands for the indigenous groups they represent.
About 4,268 civilians, 824 security force personnel and 3,120 terrorists/militants have been killed in Assam state alone in the last three decades.
Data source: South Asian Terrorism Portal
Friday’s attack was the worst in the recent past. Here is a list of recent attacks in the state from 2008 to 2015.
Militant attacks in Assam
Oct 30, 2008 : 18 near-simultaneous blasts in Guwahati, Barpeta Road, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar kill at least 90, injures 450. NDFB blamed
Jan 1, 2009: Six dead and 50 wounded in three blasts across Guwahati
Apr 6, 2009: Two blasts in Guwahati and Dhekiajuli kills 7, 60 wounded
November 8, 2010: Four coordinated strikes by NDFB in Baska, Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts kill 19
Nov 3, 2013: Attack by suspected Garo militants in Goalpara district leaves 7 dead
Nov 23, 2014: Explosion by suspected Ulfa (Independent) militants in Dibrugarh market kills 2, wounds 28
Dec 23, 2014: Multiple attacks by Bodo militants across Assam, 34 dead
KNOW THE NDFB-S
*Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland is a breakaway group from original NDFB led by Ranjan Daimary
* NDFB-S – headed Ingti Kathar Songbijit – was formed in 2012 and is anti-talks
* The Songbijit faction is fighting for ‘Independent Bodoland’.
* Daimary – arrested in Bangladesh in 2010 and handed over to India – has started peace talks with Centre
* Kokrajhar is the headquarters of the BTAD – Bodoland Territorial Area Disrtict – formed in 2003 to grant more autonomy to Bodos