Suspected rebels gunned down 11 people in two attacks in remote northeastern India on Thursday in stepped-up violence that has forced authorities to rush additional paramilitary men to the area, officials said.
The rebels allegedly stopped four cement company trucks and shot 10 employees in the vehicles before setting the trucks on fire, said Assam state police official D.K. Pathak.
In a separate attack, militants shot at a moving train, killing the conductor and injuring three others, Pathak said.
The attacks took place 350 kilometres south of the state capital of Gauhati, an area where an ethnic separatist group called the Dima Halam Daogah or the DHD has been active.
Police suspect the DHD group is behind the latest attack, Pathak said.
On Sunday, the same rebel group killed eight railway workers in apparent retaliation for six militants whom the army killed the day before.
The group said they offered a cease-fire to military officials on March 25, but that the army continued its attacks.
“A dozen of our members have been killed by the security forces. We have therefore decided to call off the truce offer,” rebel spokesman Faiphang Dimasa said in a statement earlier this week.
Pathak said state officials were sending extra troops to the area to combat the militants, but he declined to offer further details.
Several rebel groups are fighting for autonomy or independence in India’s northeast.
The militants say the national government exploits the region’s rich natural resources while doing little for its indigenous people, most of whom are ethnically closer to people in nearby Myanmar and China than to the rest of India.