Guwahati, Assam: The deadly attack at Kokrajhar, Assam, comes just three days after an intelligence bureau alert had warned of a major attack by Bodo militants ahead of Independence Day.
The alert had led the security forces to launch a major operation in Kokrajhar to flush out the militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (S).
While four militants of the outfit were nabbed, two top operatives G Bidai and K Batha managed to escape. They are now believed to have slipped into Bhutan.
Security forces are currently battling several more of the group, who managed to stage the attack.
At least 14 persons have died and several others have been injured after militants opened fire and lobbed grenades in a gun battle that started at around 11.30 AM.
According to the IB alert, the militants picked to carry out the attack were trained in Myanmar. Their brief was to stage an attack on vital installations and security forces ahead of Independence Day.
Revenge could be motive
Intelligence Bureau officials say that the cause behind today's attack could be revenge. Security forces have inflicted heavy losses on the NDFB(S) in the past two years. Since 2014, security forces have killed 27, arrested 256 and also nabbed several of their middlemen.
Sources also say that Friday's attack could have been planned well in advance. Officials suspect that the two militants, who slipped out just before the security forces launched their operation two days ago, had planned this attack.
During the combing operations, the security forces arrested four militants and seized an AK-47 gun, two grenades, cash, bullets, a revolver and a pistol.
However, the problem for the security forces is that some of the top leaders continue to remain active and are able to stage such attacks. Apart from Bidai and Batha, there are at least 25 others in the top rung who are still active, sources said.
Police Update: Attackers may still be in Kokrajhar
As combing operations continue in Assam following the terrorist attack in which 14 have died, sources are now saying some of the militants who were part of the attack may have escaped and could be hiding in the dense forests in the Kokrajhar area. Security forces have cordoned off the entire area and are carrying out search operations.
Police officials say the militants came to the scene at the Balazan market area in an autorickshaw and fired indiscriminately at people and hurled grenades at the security forces.
They engaged in a gun fight with the security forces following which some may have managed to give the slip, sources say. However, the police team is still checking to see if some of the militants are holed up in the area. One terrorist was killed in the gun fight.
The border areas have been sealed as the police launched a massive combing operation to find the militants.