Shillong: A police spokesperson said three AK rifles, one pistol, five magazines and 108 rounds of ammunition were seized from the site of the encounter, while United Achik Liberation Army (UALA) chief Singbirth Marak alias Norrok X Momin managed to escape.
The gun battle broke out at the UALA's hideout in Chiokgre area, 10 km from Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills, police officer Davies N.R. Marak told IANS.
"Five UALA rebels died on the spot after the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commandos retaliated to indiscriminate firing from the rebels," he said.
Marak said a police sub-inspector sustained bullet injuries and was rushed to Williamnagar government hospital where his condition is stable.
The dead militants have been identified as Kalam R. Marak, Batnagar R. Marak, Dikdik Momin, Sengnang Sangma and Walle N. Marak from their identity cards.
"Our men are still tracking Norrok. We have no idea if he was injured but we suspect he is hiding in the Sampalgre area," Marak said.
UALA is a splinter group of the breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC-B) and is fighting for a separate Garoland, seeking that a state be carved out of Meghalaya comprising the five impoverished districts of Garo Hills.
Norrok is wanted by Meghalaya Police for the killing of two Meghalaya jail officials at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills. He is also wanted by Assam Police for masterminding the killing of seven Rabha tribesmen and injuring nine others at Gendabari village in Assam's Goalpara district.
Meanwhile, security forces recovered two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army rebels at Dagal Dopgre area in South Garo Hills district, bordering Bangladesh.
"We recovered two IED bombs fitted inside two pressure cookers," South Garo Hills district police chief Lakardor Syiem told IANS.