Security personnel on Friday intensified a massive combing operation at Chandel district in Manipur to track down the militants involved in the ambush on an Army convoy in which 18, including a suspected militant, were killed and 11 others injured.
A senior Chandel police officer said that police personnel who had rushed to the spot, located deep inside the jungles, following reports of the attack, had returned on Thursday with the bodies of those killed.
The officer said 17 of the bodies belonged to personnel of the 6th Dogra regiment and one was that of a militant who was involved in the ambush.
Sepoy Manjit Singh of Pathankot who was killed in Manipur ambush.
Police said that the search operation was being conducted by the Army and Assam Rifles, but none has been apprehended so far. The place where the ambush took place on Thursday is deep inside the forests and the militants had escaped into it.
The area is about 15-20 km from the border. The search operation was being conducted at Paralong, Charong, Moltuh and some other areas to track down the insurgents who had launched the biggest attack on the army jawans in two decades using landmines, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, police sources said.
The Army or Assam Rifles could not be contacted. Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag rushed to Imphal during the day as security forces intensified their operations. He is being briefed by the 3 Corps commanders and top police officials, Army sources said.
They said that a detailed operation plan was being worked out for sustained and targeted operations against the insurgents. The focus currently is to send back bodies of the martyred soldiers and sanitise the area completely, the sources said.
While army and civilian authorities suspected the involvement of Manipur rebel outfit Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), NSCN(K), with which the Centre abrogated its ceasefire in March, has claimed. It also claimed that the attack was jointly carried out by it, KYKL and Kangleipak Communist Party.