In an apparent case of mistaken identity, four cadres of a Naga militant group currently observing ceasefire were killed on Sunday in a gun-battle with security forces in the Tuensang district bordering Myanmar, said an official.
An Assam Rifles spokesman said the security forces launched an operation based on information that there was some movement of cadres of the anti-talk faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-K (NSCN-K) led by their chief S S Khaplang.
The incident took place on the outskirts of Shamator town in the Tuensang district, bordering Myanmar.
The slain cadres were, however, later found to be members of the NSCN faction led by Khole Konyak and Kitovi Zhimoni -- known as NSCN-Khole-Kitovi -- which is currently observing ceasefire.
"There were reports about movement of NSCN-K militants in the area. Our forces launched an operation today (on Sunday) morning and spotted movement of some 'uniformed' cadres. The cadres fired at our forces forcing us to retaliate and in the ensuing gunbattle, four cadres were killed," said the spokesman.
One AK-series rifle, one M16 rifle, two .303 rifles and some ammunition were recovered from the slain cadres.