Bodo militants
People at a village in Assam's Kokrajhar district that was raided on 23 December by Bodo militants.IANS

A pre-dawn operation jointly carried out by the Indian Army and Assam Police led to the arrest of seven terrorists of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songojit faction), who were suspected to be involved in the killing of 23 tribals in Assam's Kokrajhar district on 23 December.

Ten weapons including four AK-47s, a HK-33 German made assault rifle and a M-16 US assault rifle were recovered by the forces from an arms dump in the Ripu Reserve Forest, North of Kokrajhar.

Mobile check posts were set up early this morning after intelligence inputs that some of the Bodo militants would try to sneak into neighbouring West Bengal, sources told NDTV.

One of terrorists, Mathinga, suspected to have carried out the carnage last month in which over 80 people were killed, was caught at the Hel Bridge mobile check post while attempting to slip into West Bengal along with a group of civilians.

Mathinga's interrogation led the forces to a nearby village where they nabbed the second terrorist believed to have been part of the group that carried out the killings at Ultapani in Kokrajhar.

Ever since the Army, paramilitary forces and police started operations against NDFB(S), its members have been dumping their weapons in safe places in the forest along the Indo-Bhutan border and trying to merge with the local population, sources told NDTV.