14 killed & 15 injured after two terrorists in army uniform open fired at a crowded market near Assam’s Kokrajhar town. The terrorists came in an auto-rickshaw and started firing at a weekly market at Balajan Tiniali, around 220 km from Guwahati. One of the attackers also threw a grenade, setting off a fire at a building.
Security forces killed one terrorist but the rest escaped.
An AK-47 has been recovered from the terrorist who was killed after an intense gun battle that lasted about 20 minutes. Additional forces have been rushed to the spot, even as other terrorists are being pursued by security forces.
As reported by NDTV, Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the killings and promised strong action. “Whoever is responsible for this will not be spared. Our policy is zero tolerance for terrorism,” he told NDTV.
Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said security forces have reacted to it and one suspected militant as been reportedly neutralised. “We have launched an intensive operation.,” he said.
Witnesses said the attackers first hurled a grenade and then began to fire, killing a dozen people and injuring 18 others in Kokrajhar town.
The CM said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have spoken to Sarbananda Sonowal and conveyed their condolences. The Assam government has decided to grant an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh to those injured, Sonowal said.
He hoped that the people of Assam will maintain peace during this critical period. “I am sure people of Assam will definitely maintain peace and harmony. This is our sincere appeal to everyone,” Sonowal said.
Violence in Assam and the wider northeast has fallen as more militant groups have called ceasefires, although attacks by one community against another are not uncommon. Militants fighting for a Bodo homeland killed at least 70 people, most of them tea-plantation workers from other parts of India, in a series of attacks in Assam in late 2014.