Police say rebels pushing for an independent state in India's northeast region of Assam have shot and killed five bus passengers.

Police officer AP Raut said the rebels pulled the men from the bus, lined them up on a highway in Assam and killed them late on Friday. Raut said the rebels killed the men because they were from outside of Assam.

The rebels want to pressure the government into conceding to their demand for a separate state for the ethnic Bodo community.

They belong to a breakaway faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which has been fighting since 1986 for the creation of the state within India. 

Three other men were injured in the attack, which occurred near the small town of Ramphalbil.

Source: AP