At least six suspected members of the Kuki National Front (KNF) were gunned down by security forces in an encounter at Kangchup Shonglung, 30 km from here, that began on Saturday evening and ended on Sunday afternoon, a report said.

However, another report said the militants could be members of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), which operates in Nagaland and other Naga-inhabited areas. Four AK 47 rifles, one M-16 rifle and one A-3 rifle, along with ammunition, were recovered from the slain militants.

Some militants are believed to have escaped.

Security forces had been receiving intelligence about the presence of militants in the Kangchup area. On a tip-off that some militants were sighted, personnel of Loktak Brigade, Para Troopers and 10 Assam Rifles stalked the village and cordoned off the nearby areas on Saturday evening.

The militants were reported to have opened fire at the security personnel first. There was retaliatory fire from the security personnel. Journalists and lensmen were not allowed to enter the area for security reasons.