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Myanmar, India hold security talks

The two nations have held talks following the Myanmar junta's major crackdown on Indian rebels in its territory.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2007 13:45 IST

Military-run Myanmar and neighbouring India have held security talks following the junta's major crackdown on Indian separatist rebels last month, state media said on Thursday.

Security officials discussed "preventive measures" on border security and drug-trafficking, the official New Light of Myanmar daily said, without giving further details.

The countries share a 1,600-kilometre (1,000-mile) unfenced border that New Delhi says helps separatist rebels to make quick getaways to Myanmar after mounting attacks in India's tea, timber and oil-rich northeast.

The northeast is home to dozens of ethnic groups, as well as several separatist insurgent movements.

Myanmar, under military rule since 1962, has repeatedly assured New Delhi that it will not let Indian rebels operate from its soil.

Last month the junta burnt down the headquarters and two camps held by the SS Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) in a major military offensive in northern Myanmar, according to the rebels.

The NSCN-K, fighting for an independent homeland for Naga tribal peoples in the northeastern Indian state of Nagaland, has at least 50 camps with some 5,000 guerrilla fighters in northern Myanmar.

The group has been observing a ceasefire with New Delhi since 2001, though formal peace talks are yet to start.

The rebels say they are protecting their ethnic identity and accuse New Delhi of exploiting the resource-rich northeast.

First Published: Feb 15, 2007 13:45 IST