Three soldiers of the Assam Rifles were killed by militants in an ambush on Wednesday evening. The ambush took place in Chandel district of Manipur when they were attacked by People’s Liberation Army militants. An additional five soldiers were also injured and remain in critical condition.
According to reports, a squad of 15 Assam Rifles soldiers were on an “area domination” patrol in Manipur’s Chandel district on Wednesday evening when they came under attack by suspected militants of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), one of the several insurgent groups operating in the northeast state.
Sources said the Assam Rifles soldiers were first hit with an improvised explosive device (IED), followed by the ambush with small arms and a grenade launcher at the district 100 km from state capital Imphal. A large reinforcement has been rushed to the area near the porous border with Myanmar.
According to the police, the deceased have been identified as Havildar Pranay Kalita, hailing from Assam, Rifleman Metha Konyak from Nagaland, and Rifleman Ratan Salam from Manipur.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh condemned the dastardly attack and offered tributes to the security personnel who lost their lives.
I strongly condemn the cowardly attack on 4 Assam Rifles in Chandel district. My heartfelt tribute to the 3 security personnel martyred in the attack.These bravehearts have sacrificed their lives to bring peace & harmony in this region. I share the grief of the bereaved families.
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) July 30, 2020
Chandel is the same district in Manipur where 18 soldiers laid down their lives for India when militants ambushed their convoy in June 2015, in what was described as the worst casualties the army had suffered in recent years till then.
The attack in 2015 was claimed by a mixed group of militants from the NSCN(K) and the United National Liberation Front of Manipur (UNLF).
The PLA, one of the older Manipur-based insurgent groups founded in the late 1970s and fighting for secession from India, is not a party to any ceasefire with the government, unlike Nagaland’s NSCN (IM) headed by 86-year-old Thuingaleng Muivah.