JCO among 6 AR soldiers killed in Chandel ambush

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IMPHAL, May 22: Few days after a special warfare team of PLA attacked 54 BN BSF D-Coy troopers near Chingol Melei Tampak Tourist Centre in Heirok Part II, a combined force of Coordination Committee (CorCom) led by PLA laid a fierce ambush on 29 Assam Rifles killing six personnel including a Junior Commission Officer (JCO) today.

Reports received by this daily said the ambush took place at a place at Chaljang in between Hengshi and Tuyang villages under Molcham Police Station in Chandel district at around 12.30 pm.

The underground cadres also took away six automatic rifles comprising of four AK series rifles, an Indian Made Small Arm Series (INSAS) and a Light Machine Gun, magazines and live rounds of ammunition from the slain AR personnel. The 29 AR is posted at Hengshi, Zoupi.

According to the reports, the AR personnel were on routine patrolling duty in the area when the militants armed with sophisticated weapons triggered a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which was already fitted. Thereafter, they fired indiscriminately towards the AR team.

In the fierce gun battle that ensued, six personnel including the JCO who led the patrol died on the spot.

Sources have reported that the ambush was led by a special team of PLA. However, the outfit has not claimed responsibility for the attack till the time of filing this report.

An Assam Rifles press release late evening confirmed the ambush and casualty figures. It also confirmed that the militants made good their escape under cover of the thick forest and bad weather.

It further said the bodies have been sent to their hometowns and the area of ambush cordoned off.

Meanwhile, according to agencies reports Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today directed security forces to take “strongest possible action” against terrorists involved in killing.

The minister reviewed the situation with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other top officials in the security establishment following the ambush, official sources said.

The home minister also spoke to Assam Rifles Director General, who apprised him of the situation and action taken so far.

Rajnath Singh expressed sadness over the incident.

The report said the Assam Rifles convoy was attacked by heavily armed militants around 1 pm in Joupi Hengshi area of Chandel when the security personnel were returning after inspecting a landslide site.

It also mentioned that two or more militant groups are suspected to have jointly carried out the attack.

Reinforcements have been rushed to the scene of the ambush and a massive combing operation is under way.

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