As part of its efforts to prevent insurgent groups in the northeast from regrouping, Indian Army special forces gunned down three militants in an encounter in Mon district of Nagaland early on Tuesday

The encounter between Army personnel and militants began around 6.30 am and was still continuing; at least two soldiers were injured in the encounter and shifted to Dimapur.

Acting on information that insurgent groups were regrouping in the northeast, Indian Army special forces had been deployed near the Indo-Myanmar border in parts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

Early on Tuesday, the Indian Army received information that militants affiliated to the UNLFW Southeast Asia conglomeration were holed up in Mon district.

On entering the jungle region, the Indian Army special forces were greeted with a hail of bullets. The special forces were supported by other Indian Army units, Assam Rifles and Nagaland Police.

Army sources confirmed that three militants were killed. One of the dead militants belonged to ULFA(I) faction of Paresh Baruah. The other two were from NSCN(K) and NDFB(S).

"A massive hunt operation is going on across Nagaland to rule out any presence of militants," said an officer of the Indian Army in Kohima.

This is the first strike by Indian Army special forces in the northeast to flush out terrorists after a series of attacks in Assam by ULFA(I) over the last one month.

THE WEEK had recently brought out a cover story where it was reported that the Indian Army would carry out operations in the northeast to flush out militants. Even another surgical strike was not ruled out.

AGP Candidate Killed Iin Assam

In a separate incident at Bongaigaon in Assam, an Asom Gana Parishad candidate for the upcoming panchayat election in Assam was gunned down on Tuesday morning. Though Bongaigaon had been known to be a militancy-affected area, there was no confirmation from security forces on whether the incident was an act of terror or of political violence.