Tuesday, October 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

ULFA militants massacre 15

GUWAHATI, Oct 23 (PTI) — In a major strike in recent times, ULFA militants gunned down 15 persons, mostly petty traders and cultivators, in two strikes in upper Assam’s Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts late last night, senior police officials said.

Tinsukia Superintendent of Police P.C. Saloi told PTI over telephone that more than 10 ULFA militants disguised in “army” uniforms drove to Kakoijan no. 4 village under the Doomdooma police station of the district in a Jeep and forced the men to line up in front of a grocery shop before opening fire from AK-56 rifles late last night.

Ten persons died in the hail of gunfire, while four others were seriously injured, Mr Saloi said.

One of the injured persons died while being rushed to hospital. The condition of three others was critical, the SP said, adding that the militants, while driving away continued to spray bullets.

Another group of ULFA militants shot dead four others, including a three-year-old infant, and injured five at the weekly Naouholia market near Duliajan in Dibrugarh district also late last night, SP Anuraq Tanqkha said.

The ULFA militants came in a Maruti van to the residence of a local businessman Radhashyam Aggarwal and shot him dead after an altercation and then opened fire at the people who had gathered there, killing another three, including the infant.

An earlier report said the incidents took place early this morning.

Security was tightened at both the villages with additional patrolling and combing operations under way.

Senior police and civil officials were camping at both Kakoijan in Tinsukia and at Naouholia in Dibrugarh.

At Kakoijan village, the residents, mostly petty shopkeepers, traders and cultivators from Bihar, had been living in the area for more than 25 years, the Tinsukia SP said.

Security in all districts of upper Assam was beefed up and all district headquarters had been directed to keep strict vigil following the two massacres.

Official sources here said the strikes came after the ULFA suffered several setbacks at the hands of the Army and the police.

The reason behind the two killings was being investigated.

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