In an operation leading to the "near decimation" of the Karbi People Liberation Tigers (KPLT), six top KPLT militants were neutralised in an encounter with security forces in East Karbi Anglong district of Assam today.
Among the six militants killed were the 'Operation Commander' and 'Area Commander' of KPLT, a Defence spokesman said in Guwahati.
Their camp was also busted in the joint police and Army operation and large quantity of arms, ammunition and other warlike stores were recovered from there.
The Defence spokesman claimed that the operation has led to "near decimation" of the KPLT which has been the most prominent anti-national group active in both West and East Karbi Anglong districts.
On receiving specific intelligence about the presence of a KPLT camp in the dense Nambar Reserve Forest under Bokajan police station, Army and Assam police had launched a joint operation last afternoon to nab the militants and destroy their camp, the spokesman said.
At around 1 AM today, the Army personnel spotted the camp with armed insurgents and on being challenged the ultras opened indiscriminate fire on the troops who also opened retaliatory fire and in the ensuing firefight, four militants were neutralised, the spokesman said.
Taking advantage of the dense jungle, the other rebels tried to escape but the troops engaged them in a firefight resulting in the killing of two more militants, the spokesman said.
The seized items include one INSAS Rifle, one 7. 62mm Self Loading Rifle (SLR), one country-made rifle, two hand grenades, large quantity of ammunition, fired cases, six matchets, solar chargers, blankets and other war like and survival stores, he said.
KPLT, formed in 2010-11 by a breakaway faction of the Karbi National Liberation Front after the KLNF declared ceasefire, is active in the remote areas of Bokajan resorting to extortions and kidnappings for ransom.
Superintendent of Police Debojit Deuri told PTI that the process for identifying the militants was on.
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The slain KPLT guerrillas have been identified as Rupsing Ronghang, Augustin Kro, Sibson Timung, Dhansing Engti, Haren Engti and Therson Tokbi alias Dorson, the SP said.
Rupsing and Augustin are top KPLT militants, Deuri said.