Monday April 23, 2007 12:01 PM
AP Photo XDEL101
By WASBIR HUSSAIN
Associated Press Writer
GAUHATI, India (AP) - Authorities in India's remote northeastern Assam state launched a crackdown on rhinoceros poachers on Monday, rushing in armed paramilitary soldiers to a sprawling game reserve, officials said.
The government action follows the killing of six rare one-horned rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park, 145 miles east of the state capital Gauhati, since January.
"We are bent on checking further poaching of rhinos and have therefore issued shoot orders to our rangers who can fire upon illegal trespassers inside Kaziranga," Assam's Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said.
Hussain said armed paramilitary reinforcements have also been sent to the 166-square mile reserve, home to 1,855 one-horned rhinos, according to the last census taken in the reserve in March 2006, out of an estimated global population of some 3,000.
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