Suspected separatists have killed at least 13 people in an attack in the northern Indian state of Assam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the assault, the deadliest in the region in recent years.
Six gunmen were involved in the Friday attack, which the state authorities blamed on the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
The NDFB, which demands an independent homeland for the indigenous Bodo people, has been waging a violent campaign in Assam for several decades.
"The attack was carried out by the Songbijit faction of the banned NDFB," Mukesh Sahay, Assam's police chief, told the AFP news agency.
"There could be five to six militants involved in the attack. We are trying to zero in on the remaining militants after our forces were able to neutralize one," he added.
No claim of responsibility has yet been made.
One attacker was killed by the security forces after the attack, the police said.
Manik Debnatj, a 30-year-old shopkeeper in Kokrajhar, told reporters the gunmen were wearing army fatigues and had their faces covered.
"A grenade lobbed by the militants set on fire eight shops, and screaming people began to run helter-skelter in a bid to escape," Debnath told the local media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief at the loss of lives on Twitter.
The premier said the federal government in New Delhi is working closely with the Assam authorities to bring the attackers to justice.
Assam's newly elected Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also condemned the attack, one of the state's deadliest in recent years.
"We will not tolerate any threat from any group. The government will not bow to any pressure while tackling terrorist groups," Sonowal told media following the attack.
Assam is one of India's most remote states, and suffers from severe underdevelopment. The nationalist party of PM Modi recently took power there in a state election.
shs/kl (AFP, Reuters, dpa)