An Assam Rifles patrol team survived an ambush by a banned insurgent outfit in Tengnoupal district of strife-hit Manipur on Thursday, the second such incident in the district since October 31 when a police team was targetted.
Thursday’s ambush on the country’s oldest central paramilitary force comes three days after the Centre declared nine “Meitei Extremist Organisations”, mostly operating in Manipur, as “unlawful associations” for five more years. The proscribed People’s Liberation Army Manipur, the political wing of the Revolutionary People’s Front and among the nine, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Assam Rifles patrol team, comprising 10 personnel belonging to the 20th Assam Rifles Batallion, were in a mine-protected vehicle when they came under attack at Saibol around 8.15am.
“There was a low-intensity IED blast followed by a burst of fire by suspected insurgents. The AR personnel were patrolling the area in a mine-protected vehicle. They promptly retaliated. There is no casualty, there is no injury. A combing operation has been launched to sanitise the area,” an army official said.
Police sources said the ambush site was about 5km from the Myanmar border, which serves as a base for militant groups from the valley and the hills.