Guwahati: In an encounter with heavily armed militants, army on Wednesday gunned down at least three hardcore rebels of United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) at Tijit near Lappa in Mon district of Nagaland. In the encounter a Major of Territorial Army and a civilian auto-rickshaw driver were also killed.
Informing that three heavily armed Ulfa (I) rebels were intercepted by a joint team of Assam Rifle and Territorial Army on Tuesday night near Tijit, security sources said that militants, who were travelling in an auto-rickshaw, opened fire on army personnel which was retaliated.
Pointing out that a Major of Territorial Army and auto-driver were killed in the encounter, security sources said that three army soldiers of the 12 Para Commandos were also injured in the gun-battled.
Security sources said that slain Ulfa (I) rebels have been identified as Akoni Baishya, Phanindra Asom and Dicom Asom. The Ulfa (I) rebels were coming from Myanmar and moving towards Sibasagar district in Assam.
Security sources said that army has launched massive search operations in the area as some of the associates of those killed are suspected to have escaped.
It is significant that Ulfa (I) operating from its hideouts in Myanmar has been using Mon district as its corridor to sneak into Assam.
Security sources suspected that some rebels of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) faction were also in the group, which was ambushed. Though, taking the advantage of darkness, they managed to escape.
Security forces also recovered three AK-47 rifles and its ammunitions from the slain militants.
The home ministry in a review meeting has asked the army and security forces recently to step up vigil on the routes which Ulfa (I) rebels have been using to enter Assam from Myanmar.