20 soldiers killed in Manipur ambush

Three groups jointly claim responsibility

Updated - April 03, 2016 05:50 am IST

Published - June 05, 2015 02:22 am IST - IMPHAL/NEW DELHI

At least 20 personnel of the 6 Dogra Regiment were killed when suspected militants ambushed their convoy in Chandel district, bordering Myanmar, in Manipur on Thursday.

Eleven of those injured have been airlifted to a military hospital at Leimakhong.

In a joint statement, the Naga Army, the Kangleipak Communist Party and the Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup claimed responsibility for the ambush.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh ordered an all-out coordinated offensive against the militants. He held a high-level meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and the Chief of the Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh.

A high alert has been sounded in Manipur and Nagaland.

Though security on the border has been increased and reinforcements have been rushed in, most of the assailants are suspected to have escaped to their camps in Myanmar.

The insurgents used rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons for the attack. Government sources said the Army personnel could not even put up an effective counter-attack.

Modi condemns attack

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Today’s mindless attack in Manipur is very distressing. I bow to each and every soldier who has sacrificed his life for the nation.”

Mr. Parrikar condemned the attack. Congress president Sonia Gandhi extended her condolences to the family members of those killed, saying the entire nation stood indebted once again to the brave soldiers.

Preliminary findings suggested the role of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang group) in the worst attack in two decades. The group unilaterally withdrew from a ceasefire agreement on March 27.

Arunachal attack

Three soldiers of the 4 Rajput Regiment were killed in an ambush allegedly carried out by the group in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Nagaland, in May.

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