12 DHD militants killed in gun battle in Assam

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Guwahati, May 10 (UNI) At least 12 militants of the Black Widow group of the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) were killed by security forces today at Herelu of North Cachar Hills district.

Police sources from Halfong said, the militants were killed and several others injured in a gunfight with a joint team of the Army and police personnel at Harelu, which is adjacent to Manipur state.

Police said during a joint operation conducted by the security forces, a 28-member group of the militants exchanged fire along Assam-Nagaland-Manipur border early this morning.

The Army, however, is tight-lipped about the incident saying that there was a massive encounter but did not elaborate on the recovery of bodies.

The police source said 12 bodies had been recovered so far from the site, 90 km from district headquarters Haflong, though the injured managed to flee, sources said.

The village is dominated by the Jemi-Naga tribals and ultras of NSCN-IM were suspected to be in the militant group as they have an understanding with the DHD, the sources said. Interestingly, the sources close to militant groups have also confirmed about the incident.

The police and troops of the 8th Sikh Regiment surrounded the DHD (Jewel Garlosa) faction camp and in retaliation, the rebels opened fire on the security personnel, the sources said.

The Army has drawn a new strategy to corner the remaining DHD militants. The total strength is around 250 and they have been creating havoc in the hilly districts. The DHD had been involved in killings, extortions and kidnappings, targeting workers engaged in railway broad gauge conversion and East-West Corridor highway construction as infrastructure development affected their insurgent activities in the district, official sources said.

The sources said the militants particularly target contractors and workers by sending them extortion notes and on their failure to comply with the demand, they were kidnapped.

The Centre, peeved at the slow progress, has decided to target the DHD to break its backbone so that two national projects could be pushed through.


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