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Nov 09, 2010 at 05:46pm IST

Death toll in NDFB violence in Assam hits 22

Guwahati: Three more persons were gunned down by NDFB militants today, while another man succumbed to his injuries, pushing the toll in the overnight violence to 22, as the rebels warned of more killings in Assam.

However, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said "We are not going to be cowed down by terror" and the security forces have launched an offencive against National Democratic Front of Bodoland militants. The authorities have sounded a state-wide red alert after the killings.

A Hindi-speaking person and another, belonging to a minority community, were shot dead by the militants at Ultapani in Kokrajhar district on the Indo-Bhutan border this morning, while a cycle mechanic Paran Mondal was shot down at his residence in Domgaon village bordering Chirang district,

Death toll in NDFB violence in Assam hits 22

The Assam government has sounded a massive security alert and announced a coordinated security offensive.

police said.

One of those injured yesterday at Batasipur yesterday in Sonitpur district succumbed to his injuries at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital, they said.

Warning of more violence, NDFB spokesperson B Sadbangso told a local news TV channel that the recent violence is in reply of an encounter in Sonitpur district where an "innocent Bodo tribal civilian" Mahesh Basumatary was killed. "We took revenge for his death. We warn of more violent attacks, if

security forces continue their offencive against us," he said.

On November 1, a self-styled NDFB lieutenant B Jwngkhang had threatened to take lives of 20 or more people for every Bodo or NDFB cadre killed in "fake encounters" by the security forces.

Yesterday, the militants had killed 18 persons, including eight Hindi-speaking and eight bus passengers, and injured over 20. Most of the attacks took place in Sonitpur district bordering Arunachal Pradesh.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi told Assembly that "We are not going to be cowed down by terror. The army, police and paramilitary forces have already launched massive operations in NDFB strongholds. The government will tackle militancy strongly."

"The anti-talk group of the NFFB is responsible for the killings and we will not tolerate it. The anti-talk group or whoever breaks the law will not be tolerated," the chief minister said in response to the opposition accusing the

government of failing to protect the people.

Pointing that the government had offered peace talks to NDFB chairman Ranjan Daimary and ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, the Chief Minister said, "they have to abjure violence. We condemn the inhuman killing of innocent people."

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