Two people were killed and three injured when tribal militants opened indiscriminate fire in a village in Assam and set ablaze five houses before escaping, officials said on Monday.
A police spokesman said suspected militants of the Jewel Gorlosa faction of the outlawed Dima Halam Daoga (DHD), popularly known as the Black Widow, late on Sunday started indiscriminate firing in Manderdisa village in the North Cachar Hills district, about 290 km south of Assam's main city of Guwahati.
"A group of hooded militants entered the village and woke up sleeping villagers and started firing; killing two persons and wounding three more," a senior police official said over telephone.
The militants, numbering eight to 10, later torched five houses before leaving the area.
"The victims were all daily wage workers," the official said. "They were adivasis," he added, a word used for Santhals who have migrated to Assam generations ago, mostly to work in the state's tea gardens.
The Black Widow is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the Dimasa tribe in the region.
The reason for the killings was not immediately known, the official said.
A splinter faction of the DHD is currently operating a ceasefire with New Delhi and holding peace talks.