Manipur Ambush: Insurgents may Have Crossed Over to Myanmar
Sources say insurgents responsible for the ambush attack on the Indian Army may have crossed into Myanmar
Even as the Centre issued orders to seal the international border with Myanmar following yesterday’s deadly attack by insurgents against the Army in Manipur’s Chandel district, it is now being suspected that the joint team of militants, comprising cadres of the Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup (KYKL) and NSCN (Khaplang), may already have crossed the frontier and taken shelter in camps south of Tamu.
At least 20 jawans of the 6th Dogra regiment were killed and 11 others injured when the insurgents set off an improvised explosive device (IED) that caused a fire in two Army trucks between Paraolol and Larong in Chandel district. Giving little time to the soldiers to react, the insurgents opened up with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and small arms fire before escaping.
Shocked by the surprise attack, the worst in 33 years, the remaining soldiers fired back, killing one of the 15 insurgents who were, reports indicate, led by self-styled KYKL ‘Lieutenant’ Tamba. The four trucks carrying a total of 46 soldiers were returning to their HQ in Nagaland’s Dimapur district, sources said.
Where did it Happen?
The site of the attack is about 125 km from Imphal and close to the India-Myanmar border. The KYKL is a Meitei insurgent group which off late has been coordinating with other Manipur militant outfits such the People’s Liberation Army and the United National Liberation Front.
The Indian Army has launched an all-out offensive to trace and eliminate the militants involved in the guerrilla-style ambush following a high-level meeting of security officials chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Those who attended the meeting included National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other senior intelligence officers. A separate meeting was held in Imphal under the leadership of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
We are still waiting for more inputs to come in.
– J Suresh Babu, Home Secretary, Manipur
As news of the attack spread, the Army rushed more troops to the spot and launched combing and counter-insurgency operations in the surrounding areas. This is likely to continue for the next few days, said Army sources.
The injured soldiers were airlifted to Leimakhong military hospital and then onward to Guwahati.
I share in the grief of those who have died.
– G Gaikhangam, Home and Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur
Who Are The Attackers?
Sources in Manipur and Delhi hinted that the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) group, with which the Centre called off a 14-year ceasefire in March, may have masterminded the attack, one of the worst in the north-east in over three decades and the deadliest since the Narendra Modi government came to power in May last year.
Where Are The Militants?
Reports emanating from Manipur yesterday evening suggested that the insurgents responsible for the attack against the Dogras headed for Thantapin, south of Tamu.
The NSCN(K), which operates from Myanmar’s Eastern Naga Hills, has been responsible for a series of attacks against security forces in Manipur and Nagaland over the past couple of months. It has formed an umbrella organisation of several north-east insurgent groups, including residual elements of the United Liberation Front of Assom led by its ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Barua who remains in hiding, shifting his location between China and Myanmar.
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