Six Assam Rifles personnel were killed in an ambush by suspected militants in Manipur’s Chandel district on Saturday.
The dead were part of a 29-member team returning to their Joupi Battalion in the district after inspecting a landslide, sources said. The soldiers retaliated and an encounter ensued but the attackers escaped, taking advantage of the thick forests nearby, they said. They managed to take away six weapons.
Last June, NSCN(K) rebels in Chandel had killed 18 soldiers, leading to a surgical strike by the army in Myanmar which the government claimed had led to several militants being killed.
“The area has been cordoned off and a search operation is on,” an official said.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation with home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, ministry officials and the Assam Rifles, said a ministry spokesperson in Delhi.
“The minister directed the officials to nab the culprits behind the incident as soon as possible,” said the spokesperson.
Spoke to DG Assam Rifles who apprised me of situation in Manipur. MHA is closely monitoring & reviewing situation in state: HM Rajnath Singh— ANI (@ANI_news) May 22, 2016
Many militant groups are active in Manipur, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy. None of them had claimed responsibility for the ambush till the time of going to press.