Guwahati, Jan 19: Security forces on Monday arrested 26 Bodo and Karbi militants in a major offensive carried out across Assam, officials said.
While 18 of the arrested were from the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), eight were from the Karbi Peoples' Liberation Tigers (KPLT), said a statement issued by the army.
The arrested also include NDFB's IED expert Deven Goyari and others involved in the Dec 23 carnage in three districts that left over 75 people dead and displaced over two lakh.
The operation was carried out by joint teams of police, army, paramilitary and the NIA.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition including an AK-56 rifle with magazine, a 9 mm pistol, 25 rounds of 7.62 mm pistol, 54 rounds of 9 mm pistol, hand grenades, five other pistols, two improvised explosive devices and nine detonators were seized from them, said the statement issued by Guwahati-based defence spokesperson Lt. Col. Suneet Newton.
While 11 NDFB cadres were nabbed from Chirang district, five were nabbed from Udalguri, and one each from Baksa and Guwahati.
The eight Karbi militants were arrested from Diphu in Karbi Anglong, the statement said.
Based on specific intelligence, a joint operation was Monday launched by the army's Red Horns division, police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in areas along the Assam-Arunachal inter-state border.
The operation led to the capture of five NDFB militants, including Bikunas Narzary alias Birlangbai, the 'commanding officer' of the outfit's 13th battalion.
Eleven NDFB militants - including IED expert Goyari - were apprehended from Panbari forest area in Chirang district.
Goyari had in December made an unsuccessful attempt to plant IEDs targetting the army, the official said.
A 'platoon commander' of the outfit was arrested from Antaibari area in Baksa district, while paramilitary troops apprehended another hardcore NDFB leader from Guwahati.
The militant is believed to have entered Guwahati to carry out disruptive activities during the Republic Day celebrations.