Rebels kill 42 migrants in India's insurgency-hit northeast
GUWAHATI - (AFP) Jan. 6 - Separatist rebels gunned down 42 people in
a string of overnight attacks targeting migrants in India's restive
northeast, officials said Saturday.
Guerrillas wearing army uniforms bound the hands of 13 kiln workers
and fishermen and killed them in a pre-dawn raid Saturday in Tinsukia
district, 590 kilometers (365 miles) east of Assam's main city of
Guwahati, officials said.
"The militants tied the hands of the people and shot them dead from
close range with automatic weapons ... raining bullets on them,"
Tinsukia district magistrate Absar Hazarika told AFP by telephone.
Saturday's killings near Ghormori Chapori village came hours after
rebels carried out nine attacks in the oil- and tea-rich state late
Friday that left 29 people dead, officials said.
Most of the victims were Hindi-speaking migrants, officials said.
Authorities blamed the burst of violence on the United Liberation
Front of Asom (ULFA), which is fighting for a separate Assamese homeland
and demanding the expulsion of all non-Assamese people, especially those
from a Hindi-speaking northern belt of India.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the killings as "an
anti-people act of cowardice and inhumanity", while Home Minister
Shivraj Patil called an emergency meeting late Saturday in New Delhi to
"The killing of innocent people will not be tolerated," Patil said.
Since peace talks collapsed between New Delhi and the rebels last
September, Assam has witnessed a series of deadly attacks that
authorities have blamed on the outlawed ULFA.
Junior home minister Sriprakash Jaisawal would leave for Assam on
Sunday "for an on-the-spot study of the situation," a government
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi denounced the upsurge in rebel
violence -- the worst in at least three years -- as "inhuman attacks on
innocent people" and imposed a high security alert.
"Security offensives against the militants have been intensified," he