Guwahati, India (AFP) Feb 7, 2011
Armed militants abducted six volunteers working for the WWF environmental group who were counting tigers and elephants in a reserve in eastern India, police said on Monday.
The three men and three women, all Indian nationals, were taken hostage by about 20 masked rebels late on Sunday in the Manas National Park in the remote state of Assam.
"A major hunt is under way to rescue them," Kampa Borgoyary, deputy chief of the local Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), told AFP by telephone from Manas.
The reserve lies 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Assam's main city of Guwahati and borders the foothills of Bhutan.
The six WWF volunteers were accompanied by members of a local wildlife conservation group, Borgoyary said, adding they were carrying out "tiger and elephant counting and monitoring exercises" inside the park.
"The militants segregated the group and took away the WWF people," he said.
Borgoyary said authorities were trying to track down the kidnappers, whose exact identity was not known.
"We are concerned about the incident and we are in touch with the parties for the safe rescue of the missing people," Dipankar Ghosh, head of the eastern Himalaya programme of WWF-India, told AFP.
Rebels have attacked and sometimes killed wildlife officials in the past in the region.
At least three militant groups are active in the area.
The best known -- the National Democratic Front of Bodoland -- is fighting for an independent homeland for Assam's Bodo tribe. It opposes peace talks with the Indian government.
The NDFB was blamed for a series of explosions in 2008 that killed about 100 people and injured hundreds more.
Violent insurgencies have wracked India's northeastern states for decades.
Rebels in the region accuse the government of exploiting the area's rich natural resources while doing little for the local people.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application
Forests could start growing again: UN expert
United Nations (AFP) Feb 2, 2011
The world's forest area could start expanding again in a few years, a top UN expert said Wednesday as the United Nations launched an international year of forests. But trees are still being cut down at an "alarmingly high" rate, particularly in the Amazon and Africa, according to the latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) global study. And many of the new trees will have only ... read more
Australia flags taxpayer levy for floods|
Australia sends in troops after mega-cyclone
Cyclone Yasi may cost Australia $5 billion: group
'Worst-case' plan saved Australians: officials
85 percent of US adults own cellphone: survey
Portable devices linked to US pedestrian death spike
NEC, Lenovo in talks on joint venture: report
Verizon reins in data hogs before unleashing iPhone
Pollutants In Aquifers May Threaten Future Of Mexico's Fast-Growing 'Riviera Maya'
Cyclone adds to Barrier Reef's flood woes
Tropical Atlantic Sees Weaker Trade Winds And More Rainfall
Thailand closes dive spots due to reef damage
VIMS Team Glides Into Polar Research
Greens: Alaska oil delay a win for polar bears
'Hidden Plumbing' Helps Slow Greenland Ice Flow
Study alters Greenland glacier melt view
Helping Feed The World Without Polluting Its Waters
Russia resumes sturgeon caviar exports to Europe
Southern Africa floods threaten more crops
Arctic Fisheries Catches 75 Times Higher Than Previous Reports
Sri Lankan floods return, death toll rises to 17
One million Sri Lankans hit by floods, 14 dead
Torrential downpours pile misery on Australia
Devastation at epicentre of Australian mega-cyclone
African nations ride the possibilities of bamboo bikes
Mutiny by south Sudan ex-militiamen kills 20: army
Road May Disrupt Migration And Ruin Serengeti
Suriname president swears-in new army chief
Mathematical Model Explains How Complex Societies Emerge And Collapse
U.N.: World population rate must slow
'Tsunami' of obesity worldwide: study
New Age Researchers Highlight How Man Is Changing The World
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|