Two ultras killed, five others nabbed in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Mar 28 (UNI) Two Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) ultras were killed and five arrested in two separate militant-related incidents in Meghalaya, police said today.

In the first incident, police said two HNLC ultras were killed in an encounter with the Special Operation Team at Umkiang village in Jaintia Hills district, bordering Bangladesh last night.

In another incident, Police arrested five Liberation A'chik Elite Front militants, including two of their symphtaisers, during the combing operation at Rongkhukre village, West Khasi Hills district.

Police said a .22 revolver, four rounds of live ammunition, two daggers and a torch were seized from their possession, police said.

The LAEF, a relatively new militant outfit, is believed to have close links with the NSCN (I-M) and is involving in extorting from coal trucks and coal mine owners in West Khasi Hills district. The outfit had claimed that it is fighting for a ''separate independent A'chik State'' for the tribal Garos residing in Garo Hills areas of Meghalaya.

Late last year, the NSCN-IM had reportedly provided the LAEF with as many as 15 AK-47s, 25 automatic M20 pistols and three highly powerful Universal Machine Guns, besides over a hundred hand grenades to carry out their operations in Garo Hills.

The nascent militant outfit has set up its operational camp inside the Balpakram National Park, with the help of the NSCN(I-M), to impart guerilla warfare tactics to new LAEF recruits.

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