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2 militants killed in encounter

Alipurduar, Feb. 15: Two militants, suspected to be from the Ulfa and the KLO, were killed in an encounter with the army at the Bengal-Bhutan border after being chased by the police. A sophisticated firearm was recovered from them.

A police officer said the two were found moving in the Bengal, Assam and Bhutan border tri-junction this morning. When the West Bengal police gave chase, the two sneaked into Assam, but came face to face with an army contingent.

The armymen first tried to apprehend them but the militants opened fire. As the army returned fire, the two tried to escape into Bhutan. After a two-hour encounter, the jawans shot them.

Army officers have informed Bengal and Assam police about the incident and asked them to identify the militants.

Preliminary investigations by the police show that one of them belonged to the Ulfa and the other to the KLO. But the two are yet to be identified. The KLO, Ulfa and NDFB have set up camps in the Kalikhola, Piping, Tintala and Debitor areas of Bhutan.

Covered with dense forests and tea gardens, the Kumargram and Samuktala areas in India, too, were once favoured areas of the militants.

After a crackdown on these camps, most of them have been moved to the north of Bhutan, except the one in Kalikhola.

According to intelligence sources, KLO militants are finding it very difficult to enter the Kumargram and Samuktala areas as new security outposts have been set up on the Bengal, Assam and Bhutan border junction. Security personnel patrol the area round-the-clock.

A senior police officer said they had information that a few militants were trying to enter Bengal to contact those in the Dooars area. Five members of the KLO, under the leadership of Tom Adhikari and Bijoy Roy, were moving in villages between the Teesta and the Torsa rivers.

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