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14 killed as Bodo rebels attack market in Kokrajhar

COMBING BEGINS:Security men in action after gunmen attacked a market near Kokrajhar in Assam on Friday.— Photo: PTI  

Fourteen persons, including two women, were killed in Kokrajhar district of Assam in broad daylight on Friday when militants dressed in Army fatigues opened fire and hurled bombs at a busy weekly market. Though the incident occurred 15 km from Kokrajhar town, an Army patrol van which was nearby when the firing started engaged the terrorists, killing one of them.

“The incident occurred at Balajan-Tinali market between 11.40 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. In the retaliation, one terrorist was killed,” L.R. Bishnoi, Inspector-General of Police, Bodoland Territorial Area District, told The Hindu .

Eighteen persons were injured, though agencies put the number at 20. Most of the victims were killed on the spot and two died while being taken to hospital.

NDFB faction suspected

Mr. Bishnoi said there was “no doubt” that one of the factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) was behind the attack.

Initial reports said two militants came in an auto rickshaw and opened fire indiscriminately and hurled grenades on the shops. The Army said swift action by the troops “prevented indiscriminate killings of civilians in the crowded market place.”

( With inputs from PTI )