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20 soldiers killed in Manipur militant ambush

The site of a militant ambush, where several security personnel were killed in Chandel district in Manipur on Thursday. Photo: Gyanendra Naorem

The site of a militant ambush, where several security personnel were killed in Chandel district in Manipur on Thursday. Photo: Gyanendra Naorem

Using rocket-propelled grenades(RPG) and automatic weapons, a group of insurgents on Thursday ambushed a military convoy killing at least 20 Army personnel in the worst such attack in recent years.

Eleven armymen were also injured in the ambush, an Army spokesman said.

A team of 6 Dogra Regiment was on a road opening patrol (ROP) as part of its daily routine along Tengnoupal-New Samtal road, about 80 km from Imphal, when it was attacked by an unidentified insurgent outfit first with a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED), a police official said in Imphal.

After the IED blast, the insurgents resorted to heavy firing at the convoy of four Army vehicles with RPGs and automatic weapons, Army sources said in Delhi.

“20 armymen were killed and 11 injured in the attack,” Army spokesman Col Rohan Anand said in Delhi.

A suspected insurgent was also killed, police said.

The attack occurred at 9 a.m. when the convoy reached a place between Paralong and Charong villages. More details are awaited.

Manipur Home Secretary J. Suresh Babu suspected the involvement of Manipur rebel outfit Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) in the deadly attack.

“This seems to be the work of PLA, with suspected support by the ‘KYKL’ group also. We are still waiting for more inputs to come in,” he added. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) is a Meitei revolutionary organization in Manipur.

A reinforcement party of the security forces was rushed to the spot for combing operation to nab the militants, police said.

Modi, Parrikar condemn attack

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack as mindless and very distressing.

“Today’s mindless attack in Manipur is very distressing. I bow to each and every soldier who has sacrificed his life for the Nation,” he tweeted.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too condemned the deadly terror attack on Army personnel in Manipur.

He asserted that those who committed this “cowardly act” will be brought to book, a Defence Ministry statement in New Delhi said.

The Army will continue to work towards bringing peace and normalcy to the state, he stressed.

Mr. Parrikar also conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the Armymen who lost their lives, it said.

NSCN(K) claims responsibility

Naga insurgent outfit NSCN (Khaplang), with which the Centre abrogated ceasefire in March, has claimed responsibility for the ambush in Manipur in which 18 army personnel were killed and 10 others injured.

A media release from the banned outfit claimed that 20 army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed and 12 others injured in the incident.

It claimed that during the attack a five-vehicle convoy of 6th Dogra Regiment was “assaulted” at Tengnoupal—New Somtal Road in Chandel district of Manipur.

“The assault started around 6 AM and lasted till 9 to 10 AM,” the release said, adding the offensive was launched in ’sync’ by the outfits.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2022 3:15:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/10-soldiers-killed-in-Manipur-militant-ambush/article60326952.ece