Renewed ethnic violence claimed 12 persons including eight children in North Cachar Hills district of Assam on Tuesday. The toll since April this year has crossed the 40 mark.
According to senior police officers here, a group of suspected Dimasa tribal assailants attacked Mechidui village, 23 km from district headquarters Haflong, around 12.30 pm.
The village is inhabited by Zeme Nagas.
The assailants set some 50 houses on fire besides attacking the residents with firearms and sharp weapons. A group of children bore the brunt of the attack. A couple of attackers were also reportedly killed after the villagers retaliated.
Police recovered 12 charred bodies which have been sent for post mortem. The victims are yet to be identified.
The injured have been rushed to Haflong Civil Hospital.
Tuesday’s incident could be in retaliation to the attack by Zeme Nagas on two villages on June 8 and June 10 where nearly 50 houses were set ablaze, police said.
The ethnic clashes between the dominant Dimasas and the Zemes began a month prior to the parliamentary elections, almost simultaneously with a reign of terror by the militant Black Widow or Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel).
Though the outfit declared a unilateral ceasefire following the arrest of its chief Jewel Gorlosa from Bangalore, NC Hills district is far from terror-free.
Road and rail communication in the district have also not been fully restored.
(With PTI inputs)