Boston – National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared
that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has
links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.
Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed
against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the
group’s organizers as “criminals,” issued an executive order authorizing
the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the
government’s efforts to secure law and order.
The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed wide-spread
refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault
Gage issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition
earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting in early this
month between government and military leaders at which the governor
authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms.
One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed
out that “none of these people would have been killed had the extremists
obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily.”
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