Three Indian troopers killed in ambush on Myanmar border


Three Assam Rifles personnel were killed and five injured in an ambush near the India-Myanmar border at Chandel area of Manipur Wednesday night.

A senior Indian government officer said that a group of 15 soldiers were returning from an area-dominance patrol at Khongtal in Chandel area when an improvised explosive device exploded.

Thereafter they came under heavy fire from the members of an insurgent group.

“On 29 July, 2020, an area-domination patrol in Khongtal, Chandel distrist, Manipur. At 18:45 hours the patrol party was ambushed on its way back,” said a senior government officer.

The incident happened about 1.8 miles from the India-Myanmar border. The troopers were returning to their post after three days of operation along the international border.

The dead have been identified as havildar Pranay Kalita, rifleman Y.M. Konyak and rifleman Ratan Salim. Five jawans who sustained “minor injuries” have been shifted to the military hospital.

No insurgent group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The local administration and intelligence agencies are working to identify the insurgent group which carried out the attack on the patrolling party,” said a senior government officer.

Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force under India’s home ministry, includes Indian Army soldiers and officers and the force’s own cadre officials and officers.

A report published June 23 by the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) stated that Indian insurgents from the country’s northeastern states, who have been sheltered for years in Myanmar, present security challenges for India.

“In addition to being threats to national security, they are also irritants that impact India’s Act East Policy. The Indian suspicion, not without basis, is that impeding the progress of India’s Act East projects has assumed weight in China’s strategic thinking. The influx of Chinese weapons is, accordingly, in tune with such thinking,” the EFSAS said.

In 2015, in an attack by Naga group NSCN (K), 18 Indian Army soldiers were killed in Chandel, prompting cross-border Indian Army strikes on Myanmar hideouts of the group.