Chandel: Six Assam Rifles personnel were killed by militants in an ambush in Manipur's Chandel district near the Indo-Myanmar border on Sunday.
One JCO (Junior Commissioned Officer) and five jawans of 29 Assam Rifles were ambushed at around 1 PM when they were returning to their camp after inspecting a landslide site at Holenjang village in the interior tribal district.
The militants also snatched four AK rifles, one INSAS rifle, one LMG rifle from them, as per reports.
After the attack, the troops retaliated but the insurgents managed to flee under thick forest cover and bad weather.
It is suspected that two or more militant groups jointly carried out the attack in Joupi Hengshi area under Molcham police station, defence and police officials said, as per PTI.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed security forces to take "strongest possible action" against militants involved in the ambush.
Singh reviewed the situation with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other top officials in the security establishment and also spoke to Assam Rifles Director General about the attack, officials said in New Delhi.
"The area of the encounter has been cordoned off and intensive combing operations have been launched to neutralise the insurgent group and prevent them from crossing over to Myanmar," Assam Rifles officials said.
Besides Subedar Baldeo Sharma, the JCO, the other deceased were identified as riflemen Pawan Kumar, Mahesh Gurung, Bhupender Kumar and Akhilesh Kumar Pandey and havildar Surajit Barla.
Their mortal remains are being sent to their homes.
Last year, 18 Army personnel were killed in the same district in an ambush by NSCN(K) militants.
Earlier, in October last year, a JCO of Assam Rifles was killed in an ambush by suspected Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) at the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur's Ukhrul district.
And in April this years, one 35 Assam Rifles jawan was killed after an IED had exploded near the northern wall of the Assam Rifles Transit camp at Minuthongnear Khuman Lampak Sports Complex.
The Assam Rifles is said to be the oldest paramilitary force of India.
(With PTI inputs)