Suspected militants of the Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tigers (KPLT) on Tuesday shot dead a rhino and engaged in an encounter with forest guards in Kaziranga National Park.

Patrolling forest personnel heard gun shots inside the Burapahar range and launched an operation in the area, park officials said.

A group of about seven militants opened fire and an encounter ensued but the militants managed to escape after shooting the rhino, officials said.

The militants could not take away the horns of the beast, they said, adding that the rhino succumbed to bullet injuries.

Empty cartridges of AK-47 and .303 rifles along with four live ammunition rounds were found near the rhino carcass.

Suspecting the presence of poachers, forest guards had fired in the same range of the park on Monday.