Assam: 5 killed in militant attack in Dima Hasao, 7 trucks torched

Tinsukia: At least five persons were killed and one injured when suspected militants of Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) fired indiscriminately at seven trucks and later set them on fire in Assam’s Dima Hasao district, around 200 km from Guwahati, on Thursday night.

The development came months after security forces killed six DNLA militants in an encounter in the Dhansiri area of Karbi Anglong district in May.

According to sources in security establishments, the truck — laden with raw material for cement and coal — were headed towards Lanka from Umrangsu when they came under sudden attack at Rangerbeel around 8.30 pm. “The militants first opened fire from automatic weapons before setting the trucks on fire,” the sources said.

“The information that has come from ground suggests that a group of armed men stopped the trucks and started firing at them. We suspect the role of militant organisation DNLA to be behind this attack,” a source in the police said.

Formed in 2019, the DNLA — believed to be active in the Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong disticts, as well as parts of neighbouring Nagaland — is seeking an independent nation for Dimasa community through an armed movement.

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According to the source, the police have recovered five bodies from the spot besides fired cases of ammunition which points to the use of automatic rifles.

“A massive operation has been launched by a joint team of Assam police and Assam Rifles to nab the militants,” the source added.

Dima Hasao, one of Assam’s three hill districts, is largely populated by Dimasas — an indigenous tribe of the state — with around a community population of 1,42,413 as per the 2011 Census.

The district, once a hotbed of insurgency, witnessed peace for the past few years

Attempts to speak with Dima Hasao SP Jayant Singh turned futile.

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