Gunmen went into an unlicensed bar in northern Punjab state and killed 12 people for violating a Sikh extremist ban on alcoholic beverage consumption, police said Saturday.

Police blamed that attack and the killing of a communist party leader on Sikh extremists who this year have killed nearly 2,000 people in their bloody campaign to establish an independent Sikh state of "Khalistan" in northern India.Five men armed with automatic weapons Friday night stormed into the bar in Ferozepur town and shot to death 12 construction workers who were drinking alcoholic beverages, police said.

They said the gunmen accused the drinkers of violating the Sikh extremist ban on alcoholic beverage consumption.