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Bodo Rebels Blamed for Attack That Kills 22, Hurts 12 in India

October 28, 2002|From Associated Press

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

Another 12 people 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 village's women 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 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 rebels of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland. Bhuyan said the killings were carried out by about 15 suspected insurgents.

The rebels, who belong to the ethnic Bodo tribe, are fighting for an independent homeland. They accuse the federal government of exploiting the region's rich timber and mineral resources while neglecting the local economy.

More than 10,000 people have died during the decade-long insurgency. The rebels operate from bases in Bhutan, staging hit-and-run strikes in Assam. Bhutan has appealed to the guerrillas to move out.

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