Six troopers were killed when an Assam Rifles convoy was ambushed on Sunday in Manipur’s Chandel district by insurgents of the Corcom, the apex body of six proscribed underground organisations, officials said.
The attackers also snatched four AK-47 assault rifles, an INSAS rifle, a light machine gun and ammunition, before fleeing the spot.
While intelligence sources said six personnel including a junior commissioned officer were killed, Assam Rifles and police, while confirming the incident, declined to disclose the exact casualty figures.
"A convoy of Assam Rifles while returning after assessing a landslide area in Holingjang to the battalion headquarters location at Joupi in Chandel district of South Manipur had the encounter with a suspected Valley-based insurgent group," said a defence ministry release.
Officials in Imphal said the insurgents detonated remote-controlled bombs and opened fire from several sides.
The exchange of fire lasted about an hour.
As news of the incident was received, reinforcements were rushed to the spot and operations launched to apprehend the perpetrators, who are believed to have escaped to no man’s land between Manipur’s border with Myanmar.
"The troops retaliated the insurgent fire effectively. However, the insurgents managed to get away under thick forest cover and bad weather," the defence ministry release said.
The area of the gunfight has been cordoned off and intensive combing operations have been launched to neutralise the insurgent group, it added.
The mortal remains of the troopers were being sent to their home towns.
On June 4 last year, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang and some other underground groups, had ambushed an army convoy in this district, killing 18 personnel of the Dogra Regiment on the spot and injuring 14 others.