GUWAHATI: An Assam Rifles Colonel, his wife and eight-year-old son, and four soldiers were killed in an ambush by terrorists near the border with Myanmar in Manipur. The terror attack - one of the deadliest in the region in recent times - took place at 10 am in Manipur's Churachandpur district, sources have said, reports NDTV.
The Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles, Colonel Viplav Tripathy, had gone to a forward camp on Saturday and was returning when his convoy was ambushed, sources said. Manipur-based terrorist group People's Liberation Army, or PLA, is believed to be behind the attack, though no group has claimed responsibility yet, sources have said. Intermittent firing is going on, police sources told NDTV. This is the first time that civilians have died in an ambush in this remote area of the district. The location is an extremely remote village around 50 km from Churachandpur.
The nation has lost 5 brave soldiers including CO 46 AR and two family members. My condolences to the bereaved families. The perpetrators will be brought to justice soon," Singh tweeted.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted a counter-operation has been launched to track down the terrorists.
Manipur, like many of the north-eastern states, is home to several armed groups, fighting for either greater autonomy or secession. For decades, the Army has been deployed to the area that has borders with China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
In 2015, 20 soldiers were killed in an attack by terrorists in Manipur, after which the Army launched a surgical strike on their camp.
The Assam Rifles is a paramilitary force that operates under the Army's control and is used mainly for counter-insurgency operations in the northeast. It acts as an interventionist force of the central government for internal security when the situation goes beyond the control of central paramilitary operations.