Indian special forces hit rebels ‘inside Myanmar’

Indian para commandos, flying with mounted machine guns on MI-17 helicopters, have hit two rebel bases on the border with Myanmar and claim to have inflicted 'significant casualties’ on separatists.

Published : 9 June 2015, 03:34 PM
Updated : 9 June 2015, 08:54 PM

The Indian Army did not provide much details of the operations mounted in the wake of last week's ambush of a column of 6th Dogra regiment.

But it said one NSCN (Khaplang) base in Noklak right on the border and another KYKL base across Chassad in Manipur's Ukhrul district were hit.

Local sources on the border said they saw Indian military helicopters flying around, firing heavily from machine guns.

They said the helicopters appeared to have crossed the border into Myanmar to hit the rebel bases that were located just across the border.

Reliable sources said troops of an Indian para-regiment, marked as special forces, were involved in the heavy airborne assault, perhaps launched first time on the border with Myanmar.

The army, however, said they had hit the rebels at the two points on thickly forested borders but did not admit they had crossed into Myanmar.

Intelligence sources said some militants were killed because they were taken by complete surprise.

Some of these militants could have been involved in last Thursday's ambush in Chandel, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed.

Major General Randhir Singh told that the operations followed "very credible and specific intelligence" that the militants were planning to carry out more attacks. 

"Following the 4th June attack we were in a state of high alert... we received information about more such attacks being planned...

“Early this morning, the Indian Army engaged two separate groups of insurgents along the Indo-Myanmar border at two locations, along the Nagaland and Manipur borders.

“Significant casualties have been inflicted on them," Maj Gen Singh said.

The army has said it is “in communication with Myanmar authorities and look forward to working with them to combat terrorism”.

Its spokesperson said stern action would be taken to maintain peace and harmony.

The heavy Indian attack using helicopters and special forces came within hours after the three rebels groups involved in last week's attack had finished celebrations at one base inside Myanmar.

A NSCN-K media statement, providing details of the celebrations, said the raiding group of NSCN-K, KYKL and KCP rebels were felicitated for their successful operations by senior leaders of the three groups.

The statement admitted the death of two rebels in Thursday's attack – one NSCN captain and another sergeant of the KYKL.

They were hit by mortars by Indian troops during the three-hour long encounter.

Though the army suffered heavy casualties – 18 dead and many injured -- the rest of the troops fought back and forced the rebels to withdraw with casualties.

Indian intelligence says it had warned the army on June 3 about an impending attack after intercepting rebel communications.