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3 killed in NSCN (I-M)-AR gunfight in Ukhrul
Correspondent IMPHAL/DIMAPUR, Aug 12:
Published on 13 Aug. 2009 12:29 AM IST
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A heavy gunfight broke out between NSCN (I-M) cadres and troops of 23 Assam Rifles at Sakok village under Phungyar police station of Ukhrul district Wednesday. Preliminary reports said that at least three militants were killed and several soldiers of Assam Rifles were also injured during the heavy gun battle. Conflicting claims were made regarding the timing of the incident. While police sources said it took place at around 7 a.m., Defence sources said it occurred between 12 noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday when troops of 23 Assam Rifles on ROP duty at Sakok village were accosted by armed NSCN (I-M) activists. Meanwhile, when contacted, NSCN (I-M) sources in Dimapur confirmed that three of their activists including one “Major” Reisang were killed in the gun battle that lasted around five to six hours. The sources said the NSCN (I-M) patrolling party under the command of “Major” Reisang was ambushed by the 23 Assam Rifles without any provocation. NSCN (I-M) sources claimed they had unconfirmed reports that the casualty on the side of the AR was also high. It was alleged that the civil societies from Ukhrul who were heading to the clash site to take stock of the situation were stopped on their way by the AR. More reinforcements for the Assam Rifles arrived after which exchange of heavy gunfire ensued for around a few hours resulting in casualties. Even though the PRO, PIB (defense wing) was not available for comment, service of army helicopters from Leimakhong army hospital towards Ukhrul direction apparently transporting casualty in the clash reported. More than five soldiers suffered casualty in the clash, a highly reliable source of the Assam Rifles said though it was not an official one. According to Defence sources, three NSCN (I-M) activists were killed and around three to five seriously injured on the side of the Assam Rifles. Additional security forces rushed to the area and search operations conducted in and around the location to trace escaping activists.

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