Nine LAEF ultras held, weapons seized in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Nov 18 (UNI) In a major breakthrough nine Liberation A'chik Elite Force (LAEF) militant cadres were arrested today and a huge cache of arms and ammunition seized from them in Pillangkata area in Meghalaya, bordering Assam.

A senior police official said acting on tip-off, Meghalaya police raided the LAEF hideout, located in remote Gamabilbari area of Ri-Bhoi district, in the early hours of the morning.

Police seized one .32 US-made pistol, one double barrel gun, five crude bombs, a laptop, a wireless in Local Loop mobile telephone and incriminating documents from their possession.

'' It was a major breakthrough for us, as they were preparing to set up a camp in the area,'' Ri-Bhoi District Superintendent of Police M K Dkhar told UNI here over phone.

He said the arrested militants include the ''area commander'' of East Zone-- Sengrak Momin, who is the third most senior cadre of the tribal Garo outfit.

The LAEF had claimed that it was fighting for a ''separate independent A'chik state'' for the tribal Garos residing in Garo Hills areas of Meghalaya.

Reportedly, the NSCN (I-M), currently on a ceasefire with the Centre is imparting guerilla warfare training to new LAEF recruits.

'' We will interrogate them to find out whether the LAEF also maintained links with the banned National Democratic Front of Booland, '' Mr Dkhar said.

Meanwhile, police had registered a case against the arrested militants, even as interrogators started to glean information from them.

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