Indian Troops Cross Into Myanmar To Attack Rebel Bases


Indian parachute commandos in helicopters have crossed over the border into Myanmar to strike separatist bases in retaliation against an ambush in Manipur state last week that left 18 Indian soldiers dead, officials said. Military officials said between 30 to 50 rebels were killed in Tuesday’s surprise raids, but a rebel group led by Burmese Naga leader S S Khaplang said the Indian claims were “exaggerated” and that there were few casualties. Aljazeera reports:

India’s junior information minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told TV channels that the “hot pursuit strikes” on separatist bases in Myanmar had been authorised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Be it Yemen or Iraq, attacks on Indians are not acceptable. This is also a message to our neighbours who shelter terrorists,” Rathore said.

The strikes were in retaliation for last Thursday’s ambush by rebel groups, who fired rocket-propelled grenades and detonated explosives on an Indian army convoy. The toll of 18 Indian soldiers was the heaviest loss for Indian security forces in Manipur in two decades. Two rebels were also killed in that raid.

Major-General Ranbir Singh, of the Indian army’s Military Operations Directorate, told Al Jazeera that Tuesday’s “surgical strikes” were carried out with the “specific intelligence that these rebels were planning more attacks”. “Our soldiers did not suffer any casualties ,” said Singh.