Seven militants killed in gunbattle in north-east India

Other News Materials 26 September 2008 13:36 (UTC +04:00)

Seven suspected militants were killed in a gunbattle with Indian Army soldiers in India's north-eastern Assam state on Friday, an army spokesman said.

The soldiers had laid an ambush after intelligence reports indicated movement of militants in Dhubri district of Assam, about 300 kilometres west of the state's main city Guwahati, defence spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said by telephone from Guwahati, reported dpa.

"When the militants fired, our troopers returned fire and seven of the militants were killed," Kalia said. He said the identity of the terrorists was not yet clear.

Revolvers, explosive RDX, grenades, gelatine sticks and wireless sets were found on the dead militants.

Kalia said officers had rushed to the spot, which is near India's border with Bangladesh, and surveillance in the area had been increased.

India has an unfenced border with Bangladesh and the rivers in the border region are poorly patrolled.

Several separatist militant groups operating in north-eastern India have been known to move back and forth from Bangladesh in the past.

According to Indian intelligence reports, Islamic militant groups have also been moving men and explosives across the Bangladesh border over the past few years.

"Bangladeshi currency notes and cigarette packets made in Bangladesh were recovered from the dead terrorists and we are looking at all aspects, including possibilities of those killed being members of any terror operatives from Bangladesh," IANS news agency quoted police sources in Guwahati as saying.