For decades, the remote northeastern region of India, comprising eight states linked to the rest of the country via a relatively narrow strip of land in northern Bangladesh, has been rocked by separatist insurgencies led by local militant organizations. Campaigns by these groups ranged from promoting greater autonomy to demanding full independence.
Violence had subsided in the region – which borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Myanmar – after India established a strong military presence and signed a peace deal in 2015 with separatist groups.
But clashes have become more frequent there in recent months, including in July, when five police officers were killed and dozens of other police officers and civilians were injured in a standoff at a border post long disputed between the states of ‘Assam and Mizoram. Killings of civilians in Nagaland over the weekend fueled fears the violence would escalate further.
Local tribal leaders said on Sunday that the miners were returning home to Oting village in Mon district when the truck carrying them was ambushed.
As anger over the killings spread, authorities in the region shut down mobile internet and messaging services to stop the spread of rumors, officials said.