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Search Operations Continue After Joint Ambush by Militants in Nagaland

Experts have said that the violence could very well leave the ongoing Naga peace talks in limbo while affecting all efforts to end insurgency.

Karishma Hasnat | News18

Updated:June 28, 2018, 7:20 PM IST
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Search Operations Continue After Joint Ambush by Militants in Nagaland
An Assam Rifles vehicle was targeted in an ambush by suspected Naga insurgents in Nagaland on Sunday. (Image: Vikas Thakur/News18)
Insurgency seems to be resurfacing in the Northeast with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) carrying out planned attacks on security forces in the region. In what the NSCN-Khaplang faction termed as ‘ongoing summer offensives’ against state forces, two attacks were carried out in less than two weeks in Nagaland’s Mon district.

Experts have said that the violence could very well leave the ongoing Naga peace talks in a limbo while affecting all efforts to end insurgency.

A joint ambush by NSCN-K and ULFA (Independent) on Sunday at Aboi, south of Mon town in Nagaland left two security personnel dead and 4 others critically injured. The injured personnel were airlifted to the 5 Air Force Hospital (5AFH) in Jorhat, Assam.

While search operation after the attack is still on, the deceased have been identified as Havildar Fateh Singh Negi of 40 Assam Rifles hailing from Uttarakhand and Sepoy Hungnga Konyak of 164 Territorial Army, Nagaland.

According to sources, the incident took place at around 3 pm when troops of 40 AR were attacked during a routine patrol. The ambush took place midway when the security personnel stopped to collect water at a site around 3km from Aboi. The militants first detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) followed by indiscriminate gunfire. Unexploded grenades were recovered from the spot.

In an emailed statement issued by NSCN-K spokesperson Isak Sumi, the attack was part of an offensive “to sanitize the land against the illegal deployment of occupational Indian forces”. On Tuesday, ULFA-I claimed joint responsibility for the attack.

Sources said the militants had entered from Myanmar to carry out the attacks. The NSCN-K has also claimed responsibility for the June 5 attack on the Assam Rifles camp at Lempong Shingha village in Mon district. Two security personnel, including an army Major, were injured in the attack. Some are of the opinion that the recent attacks on security forces are a move by the militant outfit to destabilize the Indian government in the Naga peace process and an opportunity to increase their footprint in the area where they continue with extortion activities.

In June last year, three ULFA (Independent) cadre and one Indian Army officer of the Naga Regiment were killed in an encounter near Lappa Lempong area of Mon district bordering Myanmar. This sector is also identified as the infiltration and exfiltration route for NSCN-K and ULFA-Independent operatives via Myanmar where the militant outfits have their hideouts and training camps.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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