Three female WWF volunteers who were kidnapped by armed militants earlier this week while working at a national park in northeast India have been freed, officials said Wednesday.
Three male environmental workers also abducted remain missing, according to AFP.
The volunteers, all Indian nationals, had been taking census data of tigers and elephants in Manas National Park on Sunday when they were attacked and taken hostage by 20 masked rebels.
A police spokesman told AFP that the three women were brought by bicycles to an area about 120 miles west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati, where they were let off and managed to reach a local police station unharmed.
While no one has claimed responsibility for the abductions, several militant groups are active in the remote state of Assam.
The most prominent group is the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, which wishes to seeks to form a separate state for Assam’s Bodo tribespeople.
Manas, home to nearly two dozen of India’s endangered wildlife species, is located beside the foothills of Bhutan.
Rebels have been known to attack and sometimes kill wildlife officials in the region, AFP reports.