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8 ULFA militants killed in Arunachal
K Anurag in Guwahati | April 10, 2007 13:16 IST
Last Updated: April 10, 2007 17:26 IST
The Army in Tuesday gunned down at least eight militants belonging to the banned United Liberation Front of Assam, including two women cadres, in a fierce gun-battle at Tikalibam near Lathau village on the bank of Lohit river in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh in the early morning hours.
According to a senior official in the Dinjan base of the 2 Mountain Division of Indian Army, the 11 Gorkha regiment of the Army zeroed on the ULFA hideout in the river isle in the area on the basic of specific information about presence of a large group of militants belonging to the outfit's most active 28th battalion.
In the ensuing fierce encounter that started at around 0530 hours and lasted several hours, eight militants, including two lady cadres, were killed. The intensity of the fire-fight was such that the Army had to send in reinforcements at around 0930 hours from the nearest base to tackle the challenge posed by the ultras.
The Army claimed there were no casualties on its part although the militants fired from AK 47 assault rifles and hurled grenades at the Army party. The Army recovered three weapons, including two AK 47 assault rifles and a large number of ammunition from the slain ultras. The Army believes that some militants might have given them a slip.
The ULFA militants, particularly those from the outfit's 28th battalion active in Upper Assam districts are known to use forest and remote areas inside the neighbouring districts of Arunachal Pradesh as sanctuaries to avoid the constant pressure from the Army and police inside Assam territory.
The militants after carrying out hit-and-run operations and extortion drives in Upper Assam districts of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh usually flee to Arunachal Pradesh where police deployment is far and wide given the sparse population in the hill state.