National

Bodo Militants kill 55 People in Assam

Guwahati, Dec 24: At least 55 people including 20 children were shot dead by the suspected Bodo Militants in Assam on Tuesday night.

The militants killed them in a series of attacks within the space of an hour in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts. The victims were mostly the tribals who worked in tea gardens in the region.

The militants also set fire on many houese killing and injuring dozens in the districts. The reason behind the attacks is yet to be revealed.

In one village in Sonitpur, 27 people including 10 women and 13 kids were shot dead.

The death toll may rise as many people are critically wounded and being treated at the hospitals. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit the state today to meet the victims and their families.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attacks calling it an act of cowardice. In a tweet this morning, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "Such acts of terror and violence must be put down with a firm hand".

The police suspect the involvement the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which has been fighting for a separate homeland for decades, behind the attacks. The Bodos are an indigenous tribe in Assam. They demand separation from Assam.

The attacks could be motivated by revenge after the group suffered heavy casualties in a crackdown by security forces. Two militants were killed in the last encounter with soldiers on Sunday.

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