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Militants kill 12 more in Assam

G Vinayak in Guwahati | October 04, 2004 09:01 IST
Last Updated: October 04, 2004 15:27 IST

Twelve more people have been killed in Assam since Sunday evening.

Suspected National Democratic Front of Bodoland militants gunned down six people in a village near the sub-divisional town of Biswanath Chariali in northern Assam's Sonitpur district.

The attackers stormed a hamlet at around 2330 IST and opened indiscriminate fire, police officials in Guwahati said, adding that several people were also critically injured.

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Two blasts -- suspected to be triggered by NDFB militants -- were reported in lower Assam's Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts in the evening.

The first blast occurred at Gauripur near Dhubri town. The bomb, planted at a crowded marketplace, went off at 1830 IST, killing at least five shoppers on the spot, reports reaching Guwahati said.

Around 30 minutes later an explosion took place at a fish market in the sub-divisional town of Bijni in Bongaigaon town, killing at least one fish vendor.

Assam and Nagaland have been reeling under militant attacks since Gandhi Jayanti on Saturday.

On Saturday night four NDFB militants were killed when a bomb they were carrying went off before it could be planted at a designated place.

In a similar incident on Sunday morning, three NDFB cadres were killed at Rangapara in Sonitpur district.

A civilian was killed at Baska when a bomb planted at the Baska weekly market went off.

Saturday morning saw at lest 20 people being killed in different incidents in Assam.

Meanwhile, in Nagaland at least 36 people were killed when two simultaneous explosions rocked the state's commercial centre, Dimapur. More than fifty were injured.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited Guwahati and Dimapur on Sunday to take stock of the situation.

"We will do everything possible to help the region bring the volatile law and order situation under control," Patil said after a meeting with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati. "I fully agree with the Assam chief minister that a well coordinated counterinsurgency operation across the region is needed at the moment."

Gogoi has been advocating a unified operation ever since militants of the NDFB and United Liberation Front of Asom were driven out of their hideouts in the jungles of Southern Bhutan in the wake of 'Operation All Clear' launched by the Royal Bhutan Army in December 2003.

He now wants New Delhi to take up the matter of destroying Indian militant bases in Bangladesh and Myanmar with Dhaka and Rangoon respectively.

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