India rhino poachers shot dead

A wounded one-horned rhinoceros that was shot and dehorned by poachers in Parku hills, near Kaziranga National Park, about 250km east of Gauhati, India. (AP Photo)
A wounded one-horned rhinoceros that was shot and dehorned by poachers in Parku hills, near Kaziranga National Park, about 250km east of Gauhati, India. (AP Photo)

New Delhi - Three rhinoceros poachers were shot dead by forest guards in an Indian nature reserve on Wednesday, news reports said.

Guards and poachers exchanged fire early on Wednesday in more than one area of the Kaziranga National Park in the north-eastern state of Assam, broadcaster NDTV and the Assam Times reported.

Two rifles, gun-silencers and a pistol were found after the operations.

Poachers kill rhino for their horns, which many believe have aphrodisiac qualities, and are used in traditional medicines in Asia.

According to the report, poachers have killed and de-horned nearly 200 rhino in Assam over the past 13 years; 20 were killed last year.

In 2014, the forest department killed 22 poachers in the state. Kaziranga is considered to hold the largest concentration of one-horned rhino in the world.

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