Naga militants attack Assam Rifles camp in Arunachal  

Guwahati, June 7 (IANS) Within three days of an ambush of an Indian Army convoy in Manipur leaving 18 soldiers dead, suspected militants from Naga outfit NSCN-K on Sunday attacked a camp of the paramilitary Assam Rifles in Arunachal Pradesh. Officials said there was no casualty in the attack.

Around 30 heavily armed militants started firing indiscriminately at the 1 Assam Rifles camp at Lazu in Tirap district in the early hours of Sunday, prompting retaliatory firing by the paramilitary personnel, an Assam Rifles spokesman said.

The militants fled after their firing was retaliated by the Assam Rifles troopers, he said.

“There was no casualty on our side. The forces were on alert and we had an intelligence report about the probable attack,” the spokesman said.

The attack came three days after a group of militants, including those of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K), ambushed an army convoy in Manipur, killing 18 army men.

The NSCN-K in March abrogated the ceasefire accord with the central government and since then has been targeting security forces in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur.

The Assam Rifles camp was located close to the international border with Myanmar. Three Arunachal Pradesh districts — Tirap, Changlang and the newly-created Longding district — share a 520-km international border with Myanmar.

The recent resurgence of the NSCN-K has left security officials concerned.

“The NSCN-K always had control over other militant outfits operating in the region. Most of the militants in the northeast use NSCN-K camps in Myanmar to train their cadres. They also had a role in ferrying and supplying of arms to other militant outfits,” said a senior official of the Assam Police Special Branch.

He said the formation of a new umbrella group — United Liberation Front of the Western South East Asia (UNLFW) — will also have larger ramification in the region.

Meanwhile, the Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh governments have sounded an alert across the states.

While Manipur had already sealed its border with Myanmar, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has urged the Centre to take up with Myanmar the issue of a joint operation against the militants.

Assam’s Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) P. Bhattacharya said the NSCN-K or the UNLFW “might target Assam as well and it is very easy for them to enter Assam from Tirap and Changlang through Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia districts”.


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