Police - 22 killed in attack by separatist guerrillas

Monday, October 28, 2002

GAUHATI, India -- Suspected separatist guerrillas knocked at the homes of villagers in India's remote northeast just after midnight, asked the men to come out and then killed 22 of them, survivors and police said Sunday.

Another 12 were wounded in the attack on Dadgiri, a village in Assam state close to India's border with Bhutan, said P. K. Bhuyan, a local police officer.

The attackers told the female villagers that the men would return in the morning. Instead, they lined them up and fired, police quoted Babulal Yadav, a villager who survived the attack, as saying.

Despite bullet wounds in his left shoulder, Yadav escaped and made it to a nearby police station, police said.

Twenty people were killed instantly in the attack. Two others died on the way to hospitals in Kokrajhar, about 155 miles west of Gauhati, the state capital, police said.

No group claimed responsibility for the killings, but police blamed them on rebels of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, or NDFB. Bhuyan said the slaughter was carried out by around 15 suspected insurgents.

Another group of rebels attacked police at their station in nearby Runikatha, Bhuyan said. A grenade hit their jeep and six were wounded.

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