Eight soldiers, seven of them belonging to the Assam Rifles, were killed when two vehicles of 23 Assam Rifles battalion were ambushed by the NSCN(K) in Mon district in Nagaland on Sunday. While three soldiers were killed on the spot, five others died later.
Sources in Assam Rifles in Kohima said the two vehicles, one a water-trailer and the other a Tata 407, were on their way to collect water from a natural source nearly four kms from their camp location in Mon district when they came under NSCN(K) attack. While the first vehicle was blown off by powerful IED explosion, the heavily armed militants who were positioned on vantage uphill locations sprayed bullets from AK-series weapons on the second vehicle.
The eight soldiers who were killed included seven of the 23 Assam Rifles and one jawan from the 164 Territorial Army Battalion. There were altogether 18 persons including the two drivers in the two vehicles. The incident occurred at around 2:45 pm on Sunday between Chaklangshu and Tobu in Mon district, nearly 390 km east of Kohima.
The surviving soldiers however retaliated, in the process killing at least two NSCN(K) militants, the sources said. While one uniformed body of an NSCN(K) militant was recovered from the spot, the militants managed to remove another militant who was seriously wounded and probably killed, the sources said.
Sunday’’ was the second major attack on security forces by NSCN(K) in the past few weeks. The NSCN(K) had killed two Gurkha regiment jawans in Tamenglong district in Manipur on March 21. The outfit had called off its 15-year old ceasefire with the Union government on March 28.