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Myanmar to drive out NE militants

india Updated: Oct 03, 2006 15:10 IST
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Myanmar is planning a major military operation to evict Indian separatists from its soil within a week, fuelling fears of heavy fighting in the north of that country, a rebel leader said on Tuesday.

Kughalo Mulatonu, a senior guerrilla leader of the SS Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), which is fighting for a tribal homeland in India's Northeastern state of Nagaland, said hundreds of Myanmarese soldiers were moving into areas dominated by the rebels.

He alleged that India was assisting Myanmar by supplying it with military equipment and ammunition.

Mulatonu said the NSCN-K cadres were alerted and were ready to repulse the military offensive by Myanmar.

"The Myanmarese army is seen setting up bunkers and moving military hardware close to our bases and we expect an assault by them within a week or so," Mulatonu said from an area bordering Myanmar.

The rebel leader said a brigade (about 3,500 personnel) of troops were being moved to the military-run Myanmar's northern Sagaing Division where the NSCN has at least 50 camps with some 7,000 guerrilla fighters entrenched in fortified bunkers.

"We have spotted 98 trucks, loaded with weapons and ammunition being sent by the Indian government, crossing over to Myanmar through the border town of Moreh in Manipur to aid the junta to crush our bases," the rebel leader alleged.

There were no immediate comments available to confirm the rebel claims of India sending weapons to the Myanmar junta to fight the rebels.

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