Army strikes Naga rebels along Myanmar border

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Sep 2017 08:41:45



THE Indian Army on Wednesday said it has inflicted “heavy casualties” on NSCN (K) militants during a firefight along the border with Myanmar, but clarified that it was “not a surgical strike”.

Officials said the incident occurred when a column of the Indian Army was fired upon by “unidentified insurgents”.
The Army also said the international border was not crossed.

“In the early morning hours of September 27, a column of the Indian Army, while operating along the Indo-Myanmar border was fired upon by unidentified insurgents. Our troops reacted swiftly and brought down heavy retaliatory fire on the insurgents,” Eastern Command of Indian Army said in a statement.

“The insurgents broke contact and fled from the spot. As per inputs, a large number of casualties were suffered by the insurgents. Own troops suffered no casualties during the firefight,” it said. The “firefight” took place around 4.45 am on Wednesday morning.

The Eastern Command had earlier said in a tweet that the operation was against the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) militants.
“Heavy casualties reportedly inflicted on NSCN(K) cadre. No casualties suffered by Indian Security Force,” the Eastern Command said in a tweet.

Responding to a question at a Cabinet briefing abut the incident, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “There are no two opinions that Myanmar is a friendly country. Whatever information we get, we will inform you about it.”
However, a Facebook post by one Isak Sumi, who is on the ‘Most Wanted List’ of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), said the encounter occurred on the outskirt of Langkhu village located inside Myanmar occupied Naga area, 10-15 km away from Indo-Myanmar border.

“The encounter started around 3 AM when the elite unit of the Naga Army detected a column of Indian Army approaching their temporary make shift camp in the outskirt of Langkhu village located inside Myanmar occupied Naga area, 10-15 kms away from Indo-Myanmar border. The exchange was continuing till the time of filing this report,” said Sumi, who is referred to as the PRO of the NSCN by the NIA on its website updated last year.
He claimed that “three Indian soldiers were killed and an unconfirmed number injured but there was no casualty or injury on the Naga Army”.

His post states that he is currently based in Yangon in Myanmar and his social media records as also the details on the NIA website state that he belongs to Zunheboto district in Nagaland. Army sources have maintained that it was “not a surgical strike”. Its response came hours after Sumi’s post.

The Eastern Command also tweeted, “Reports of casualties to #IndianArmy personnel factually incorrect. Firefight occurred along Indo-Myanmar border at 0445 hrs today @adgpi.” In June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out a surgical strike along the India-Myanmar border on camps of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) militants, days after an ambush in which terrorists killed 18 Army men in Manipur.