The attacks took place in Assam, an Indian state located near the border with neighboring Bhutan.
Local police are blaming the National Democratic Front of Bodoland for the attacks, the news agency states. The group seeks to secede from India and establish an independent state for their ethnic group, and the killings took place in areas which are populated by non-Bodo citizens.
According to Bloomberg, four separate attacks were carried out in two districts, Sonitpur and Kokrajhar, where at least 22 women and 20 children were killed. India's Prime
Minister Narendra Modi has called the attacks “an act of cowardice” via a Twitter post.
Killing of innocent people in Sonitpur & Kokrajhar is an act of cowardice. Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of the deceased.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 23 декабря 2014
The Bodos are an indigenous tribe which comprises about 10% of Assam’s population of 33 million. In 2012, clashes between ethnic groups in Assam, which resulted in 80 people being killed and over 400,000 being displaced, forced the Indian government to impose strict control over social media to contain the violence.