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Manipur: Militants plant IED, attack Assam Rifles troop in Tengnoupal; search ops on to trace attackers

A troop of Assam Rifles was reportedly attacked by militants in the Saibol area of the Tengnoupal district in Manipur on Thursday. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast was reported in the area, while an official said the explosion was followed by heavy firing from militants, the Hindustan Times reported.

The incident happened around 9.30 am on Thursday when 20 Assam Rifles soldiers were conducting a regular patrol. However, none of the soldiers were injured because they were travelling in a mine-protected vehicle, the report added.

“The militants had planted a low-intensity IED. They then used small firearms and fired at the Assam Rifles vehicles,” a senior defence officer added.

A senior defence officer said the soldiers fired back at the militants after which they fled from the spot. He added that the search operation is underway.

“Our soldiers retaliated with appropriate force and foiled the attack. A search operation has been launched to trace the attackers,” the official was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), a frontal organisation of Kuki-Zo tribes in Manipur, threatened to establish a “self-governed separate administration” in areas where these tribes have a majority. The forum said that even after more than six months of ethnic strife in the northeastern state, the central government is yet to accept their demand for a separate administration.

“More than six months have passed since the ethnic strife started in Manipur but nothing has been done regarding our demand for a separate administration. If our demand is not heard within a couple of weeks, we will set up our self-government irrespective of whether the Centre recognises it or not,” ITLF general secretary Muan Tombing was quoted by PTI as saying.

Earlier this week, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared several ‘Meitei’ extremism organisations as “unlawful associations” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). As per the notification, the order came into effect on Monday (November 13, 2023) for a period of five years.

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Updated: 16 Nov 2023, 03:29 PM IST

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