India launches offensive against armed groups

Indian government prepares for offensive against armed groups in northeastern India after ambush killed 18 soldiers

India launches offensive against armed groups

World Bulletin / News Desk 

India pledged on Friday to launch a large-scale offensive against gunmen in the northeastern state of Manipur, a day after gunmen killed 18 soldiers in an ambush, local reports said.

The counter-insurgency operation was given a green signal following a meeting between federal home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and national security advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday night, reported English daily Hindustan Times.

Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag reached Manipur's capital Imphal on Friday morning to analyse the situation in the state, which had been relatively calm until March 2015 when the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, a separatist group, ended its 14-year-old ceasefire with India.

A detailed counter-insurgency plan is being worked out by Suhag and senior army officials to flush out the militants from the jungles of Manipur, which shares a porous border with Myanmar.

Indian soldiers conducted search operations at Paralong, Charong and Moltuh on Friday to hunt the militants from the Manipuri armed groups Peoples Liberation Army and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, who are suspected to have carried out Thursday’s ambush.

The attack, the worst Indian troops had faced in a single day in over a decade, alarmed security officials as it emerged that the militants had used rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar condemned the attack on Thursday and assured that the gunmen behind the ‘cowardly’ attack would be punished.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “distressed” by the “mindless attack” on Indian soldiers.

“I bow to each and every soldier who has sacrificed his life for the nation,” Modi said on Thursday.

India’s northeast is home to a number of armed separatists groups that have challenged the Indian state, accusing it of neglecting local problems while exploiting natural resources.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2015, 14:40