Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:06AM
This file image shows a damaged military vehicle following an ambush by armed militants at Pengeri, in Assam’s Tinsukia district, November 19, 2016. (By AFP)
This file image shows a damaged military vehicle following an ambush by armed militants at Pengeri, in Assam’s Tinsukia district, November 19, 2016. (By AFP)

Suspected militants have staged an attack in India’s northeast, killing two military personnel and injuring several others.

Ashok Sahai, the top police official of Assam State, said the attack took place in Jairampur, in the state’s Tinsukhia district on the border with Arunachal Pradesh, on Sunday.

Sahai said government troops had launched a counterattack killing several militants in the fighting, which he said was still going on.

Local media reported that the militants used a crude bomb as well as rocket-propelled and hand grenades to attack a vehicle of the Assam Rifles force.

India’s restive northeast has been plagued by violence for decades. Assam, a remote and underdeveloped state in India, has for years been the scene of militancy along ethnic and tribal lines.

No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, but Sahai said several local militant groups had participated in it. According to the police official, the militant groups included the United Liberation Front of Assam and groups from neighboring Manipur State.

Militants in the remote northeast of India demand economic development for the region, greater autonomy, and even independence from New Delhi.

Indian authorities say violence by militants has left at least 50,000 people dead in six of India’s seven northeastern states since the country gained independence from Britain in 1947.