Imphal: A group of militants on Sunday ambushed a convoy of the Assam Rifles killing a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and five jawans in Chandel district of Manipur near the Indo-Myanmar border.
The incident occurred at around 1 PM when the personnel of 29 Assam Rifles were returning to their camp after inspecting a landslide site at Holenjang village in the interior tribal district, defence and police officials said.
After the attack by insurgents, the troops retaliated but the insurgents managed to flee under thick forest cover and bad weather.
It is suspected that two or more militant groups jointly carried out the attack in Joupi Hengshi area under Molcham police station, the officials said.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed security forces to take "strongest possible action" against militants involved in the ambush.
Singh reviewed the situation with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other top officials in the security establishment and also spoke to Assam Rifles Director General about the attack, officials said in New Delhi.
"The area of the encounter has been cordoned off and intensive combing operations have been launched to neutralise the insurgent group and prevent them from crossing over to Myanmar," Assam Rifles officials said.
Besides Subedar Baldeo Sharma, the JCO, the other deceased were identified as riflemen Pawan Kumar, Mahesh Gurung, Bhupender Kumar and Akhilesh Kumar Pandey and Havaldar Surajit Barla.
Their mortal remains are being sent to their homes.
Last year, 18 army personnel were killed in the same district in an ambush by NSCN(K) militants.
Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, Army Commander Eastern Command, expressed his condolences to the families of the bravehearts.
"The nation owes gratitude to the ultimate sacrifice made by Assam Rifles personnel like them in the fight against insurgents. We in the Army are committed to provide all necessary support to their families in this hour of grief," he said.
He said these acts of violence by insurgents reinforce their resolve to carry out relentless operations against such anti-national elements for furtherance of peace in the region.
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Updated Date: May 23, 2016 08:40:04 IST