Six militants killed in Assam gun battle

May 19th, 2009 - 11:23 am ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, May 19 (IANS) At least six tribal separatists were killed early Tuesday in a gun battle with the army in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, officials said.
A defence spokesperson said six militants of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were shot dead early in the morning in a gun fight with an army column near Donghap village in Karbi Anglong, about 290 km east of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.

“Based on specific intelligence about the presence of six to eight NDFB militants, soldiers of the Red Horns Division launched an operation in the area and was able to eliminate six of them following a long fire fight between the two sides,” army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia told IANS.

The official said a few of the militants might have been able to escape taking cover of the darkness as the operation took place before dawn.

“Probably the militants were in the area to carry out some strikes or even extortion,” a police official said.

A large quantity of arms and explosives, including grenades and gelatine sticks, were recovered from the dead rebels.

The NDFB is a rebel group fighting for a separate homeland for the Bodo tribe in Assam since 1996 although the outfit is operating a ceasefire with New Delhi since 2005.

Despite the ceasefire, the Assam government has time and again blamed the NDFB for violating the truce and indulging in violence.

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