Militants kill two soldiers in Manipur

Imphal, April 14 (IANS) Two soldiers have been killed in separate attacks by militants in Manipur, officials said on Thursday. Two others are battling for their lives.

While Major Amit Deswal died in a gun battle with tribal militants in Tamenglong district, one of the three soldiers of Assam Rifles wounded in a blast has succumbed to injuries. He was identified as Vijendra Yadav.

Both deaths took place late on Wednesday. Major Deswal was from the 21 Special Force of Rashtriya Rifles and hailed from Haryana. Yadav was a resident of Rajasthan.

Yadav was one of three soldiers — the others being Hemendra Debnath and Manish Kumar — who were seriously injured when a powerful bomb went off near an Assam Rifles camp near Minuthong bridge in Imphal West district.

All three were rushed to a military hospital at Leimakhong where Yadav died. The other two soldiers are battling for their lives, doctors said.

On Thursday, security forces conducted “search and destroy operations” to smoke out the militants, the officials said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Police sources said the Major’s killers may be from the Zeliangrong United Front, one of the many militant groups active in Manipur.

“There is reliable information that at least one militant was wounded in the exchange of fire. But he was taken away by others,” an official said.

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