Five truck drivers of a cement company were killed and three others injured when Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) militants fired upon them in Assam’s Dima Hasao district.
The attack happened late on Thursday night, police said on Friday.
A senior Police official in Guwahati said that the DNLA extremists fired several rounds at the truck drivers and other people before setting six of the trucks on fire. At least seven drivers and assistants of the trucks managed to flee inside the nearby jungles when the extremists fired on them from the sophisticated weapons.
Assam Rifles troopers and Assam police personnel led by district police chief Jayant Singh have rushed to the spot – Rangerbeel on Umrangsu Lanka Road – and recovered the charred bodies of the five drivers from the burnt trucks.
The security forces have launched a massive combing operation to nab the militants in the hilly district, which is around 300 km southeast of Guwahati.
The trucks were carrying coal and other material for a nearby cement manufacturing plant.
The Dima Hasao district, formerly North Cachar District, one of Assam’s three hill districts was earlier a hotbed of militant activities and in the recent years there was no major extremist violence.
In May, the security forces during an encounter gunned down six DNLA cadres in the Dhansiri area of Karbi Anglong district. Arms and ammunition were recovered from their possession.
The operation of the security forces was launched after the DNLA rebels killed a villager in the area. The outfit reportedly was carrying out extortion and abduction in Dima Hasao district and adjoining areas. Several top leaders of the militant outfit were earlier arrested by the security forces.
Formed in 2018, the DNLA is believed to be active in the Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts, as well as in neighbouring Nagaland.