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Militants open fire in Assam's Kokrajhar; 13 civilians killed, 18 injured

India TV News Desk Kokrajhar 05 Aug 2016, 16:13:05 PM IST
India TV News Desk

At least 13 civilians were today killed while 18 others injured when a group of militants in military fatigues opened random fire at a busy market in Assam's Kokrajhar town.

Security forces patrolling the area retaliated and one militant was killed, the police said.

It is suspected that Bodo (NDFB) militants carried the carnage. However, there is no official confirmation on this.

Police said the group of militants came in a car and swooped down on Balajan Tiniali market this afternoon. 

Along with 13 bodies, police have so far recovered one live grenade and one AK 47 rifle from the spot. Search operations are continuing in the area as the militants are suspected to be hiding in nearby buildings.

The entire area has been cordoned off by police and security personnel and the injured, many of them critical, are being shifted to nearby hospitals.

Condemning the killings, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to next of kin of people who died and to those who sustained injuries respectively.

He also directed Finance, Education and Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to rush to the spot and review the situation.

Sarma said, "Two of the extremists have been neutralised and police is looking out for another six but at this stage these are my specific assessments as I am yet to talk to the SP.

"I think details are still coming in so we have to wait for some time to find out the confirmed number of killings and the number of extremists neutralised by security forces," the minister said.

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.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the central government was closely monitoring the situation.