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After rebels, search for IEDs

Imphal, Nov. 28: After having captured the United National Liberation Front-dominated Khenjoy and Sehlon ridges on the Indo-Myanmar border, the army is busy clearing Somtal of improvised explosive devices.

The army claims to have cleared the two ridges of all militants — Somtal had been a UNLF-stronghold for the past decade — during the offensive it launched on November 18.

Assam Rifles spokesperson Col L.M. Pant said the troops yesterday destroyed six more IEDs planted by the militants.

Sixty-three IEDs have been destroyed so far and the troops will continue their search till the area can be declared free of bombs.

Two personnel — a havildar and a rifleman — were wounded during the search for IEDs. They are undergoing treatment at Leimakhong Army Hospital.

There have been no reports of further clashes between the militants and the security forces after the initial encounters.

The army reiterated that Somtal was a “liberated zone”, meaning there was no UNLF presence in the area.

The security forces plan to set up base at Somtal after the operation is complete.

In an unrelated development, police recovered an IED from Yairipok in Thoubal district this morning.

Bomb experts defused the device.

Bodies recovered: Two bodies were recovered from Phailon in Churachandpur district this morning.

Police said unidentified persons beat the duo to death last night.

The bodies, which are yet to be identified, have been taken to Chuachandpur district hospital for post-mortem.

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