Kokrajhar (Assam): A day after an ambush by militants on a police team that left two alleged cattle smugglers from Uttar Pradesh dead near the Indo-Bhutan border in Kokrajhar district of Assam, state police Wednesday said a combing operation has been launched to net the ultras.

It expressed confidence of a breakthrough in the ambush within a week though the identity of the outfit behind it is yet to be known.

A senior police official told PTI on condition of anonymity that the entire Jamduar area, where the ambush took place, is being searched.

He said, “It is a very remote area with West Bengal on one side and Bhutan on the other. We are looking for the militants who had carried out the attack … We are confident of a breakthrough within a week and we will be able to divulge more details then”.

Asked which outfit was behind the ambush, the police official said, “It could be the handiwork of former militants who are trying to regroup. We are looking at all angles”.

The ambush took place around 1.30 am on Tuesday when two alleged cattle traffickers were being taken to Jamduar area by police personnel to identify smuggling routes along Sankosh river. The police vehicle carrying the duo came under fire by militants and the personnel in it ran outside for cover.

The two alleged cattle smugglers were trapped inside the vehicle and were killed in the firing by the militants. They were later identified to be Akbar Banjara and Salman Banjara, both residents of Uttar Pradesh arrested from Meerut for their alleged involvement in cattle smuggling.

Four policemen were injured in the ambush.

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