Three Assam Rifles personnel martyred in an ambush in Manipur; 3 NE outfits claim responsibility

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NET News Desk

At least three personnel from the Assam Rifles were martyred and six others were injured in an ambush with suspected militant outfits near Chandel District in Manipur. The ambush took place at Khongtal Village very close to the Indo-Myanmar border in Chandel at around 6.30 pm on Wednesday. Claiming responsibility for the attack the Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) said that the ambush was a part of its operation against the Indian expansionism tactics.

The three Assam Rifles personnel who were reportedly killed at the ambush site have been identified as Havildar Pranay Kalita, Rifleman Methna Konyak and Rifleman Ratan Sapam. The injured were rushed to a military hospital in the area.

As per reports, the militants ambushed a patrol party of 4 Assam Rifles by exploding an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). They then opened fire at the personnel of the security forces. Security officials earlier suspected the People’s Liberation Army, PLA of Manipur to be behind the attack since no organisations or militant groups have officially claimed responsibility for the attack till the time of filing this report.

Later three Northeastern militant outfits Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) have jointly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued on Thursday.

In a joint statement to media, signed by Ruichumhao, defence secretary of Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF) and MM Ngouba, chief of army staff, PLA, ULFA (I) Chief of Army Staff, Paresh Baruah said that the ambush was a part of its operation against the Indian expansionism tactics.

According to reports, the statement read, “Internationally ‘the era of expansionism is over’ but not the Indian expansionism. As the entire world has made up its mind against expansionism, the people of WeSEA (Western South East Asia) are also countering against the expansionism of India. As a course of the independence struggle against Indian colonisation and expansionism, a combined force of MNPF, Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and ULFA-I had conducted a joint military offensive against Indian forces on July 29 at Sajik Tampak area of Manipur.”

“We deeply regret that in our liberation struggle our brothers of WeSEA are killed or wounded in action,” it said.

“We are also calling upon the people of WeSEA to stay away from the Indian forces as they are the super spreader of infectious Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the joint statement added.

Manipur Chief Minister N.Biren Singh strongly condemned the attack on the security forces.

“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 and harmony in this region. I share the grief of the bereaved families,” he added.

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