Army hits back, kills 50 N-E ultras

Army hits back, kills 50 N-E ultras

Days after 18 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Manipur, the Army launched a massive counter-offensive against militants along the Indo-Myanmar border early on Tuesday, inflicting “significant casualties”.

According to Army sources, not less then 50 militants were killed, although an accurate count is difficult since it was an airborne strike.

Sources in the Army claimed that two separate operations were conducted on “both sides” of the international border and that the Myanmar government was taken “on board”.

The Army, however, did not officially acknowledge that it went inside Myanmar, and said it was looking forward to working with the Myanmarese military to deal with insurgents who have taken shelter there.

After the Army was ambushed on June 4, combing operations were carried out along the border and the military intelligence worked on gathering specific inputs. On obtaining pinpoint information, the Army headquarters planned the operation, sources added.

The commandos of 21 Para (SF) along with the quick reaction teams of the Assam Rifles were flown in on two MI-17 choppers to two specific locations along the Indo-Myanmar border, Noklak in Nagaland and Chassad in Manipur
The commandos “swooped down” on the camps firing from mounted medium machineguns. The surgical strike was launched on two transit camps of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K), where militants of some other banned North-East-based terrorist groups were also present.

“Significant casualties have been inflicted on them. As a consequence, threats to our civilian population and security forces were averted,” said Major General Ranbir Singh, additional director-general of military operations.

“In view of the imminent threat, an immediate response was necessary. Based on intelligence, we conducted operations to counter these planned assaults,” he said.
Sources told Deccan Herald that there were specific inputs that the top leadership of the militants groups would be present in Chassad to “welcome” militants who carried out the June 4 attack. Several leaders and cadres of the NSCN(K), KYKL, KCP, UNLF were present in the camp. 

In Noklak, there was a huge presence of NSCN(K) cadres. 

Recently, nine North-East-based militant groups joined hands to form the United National Liberation Front of West South East Asia (UNLFW), and the June 4 attack was its first major operation.

Meanwhile, two NSCN(K) cadres, including a Myanmar national, were killed while another was seriously injured in an IED blast in the Londing district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Myanmar on Tuesday.

The three cadres were planting the IEDs when the incident took place at around 3 am. An Army convoy was supposed to pass through the area after a few hours.

About 20 years ago, 40 militants were killed and more than 100 arrested in “Operation Golden Bird” along the Indo-Myanmar border. Sources said  the casualties might be higher this time.

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