Three rebels killed in Tinsukia gunbattle

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Tinsukia, Dec 31: At least three ULFA rebels were killed in a fierce gunbattle with the army, inside Dibru-Saikhowa national park in Upper Assam's Tinsukia district, early today.

Defence sources said the encounter took place at around 0430 hours when troops of the Dibrugarh-based 11 Guards Regiment were conducting an operation inside the national park, acting on a tip-off that 5-6 cadres were holed up there. The rebels opened fire from a transit camp, prompting the security men to retaliate. At least three unidentified ULFA cadres were killed, while the others managed to flee.The Army suspect that the group comprised of six to seven fresh cadres who had recently entered Assam after training in Myanmar.

The rebels were planning to strike during the panchayat elections in the state, the army said.

One pistol, two grenades, 400 rounds of ammunition, two IEDs, some ULFA pads, camp aids and some rations were recovered from the camp. Army sources said two other cadres might have sustained injuries, but had managed to escape in the darkness. Combing operations were on in the area.


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