The commanding officer of the 46 Assam Rifles, Colonel Viplav Tripathi, and his quick reaction team (QRT) were returning from the Behiang border post and heading to the battalion headquarters at Khuga when the militants ambushed them at S Sehken village under Singhat sub-division at around llam, said one of the officials cited above. Apart from Tripathi, his wife Anuja and son Abeer; Riflemen NK Nayak, Suman Swargiary, RP Meena and Shyamal Das were killed in the planned attack. Family members of soldiers being hit by insurgents is a rarity and has sent shock waves through the military community.
In May 2002, terrorists killed 31 people at an army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Kaluchak area, including three soldiers and 18 family members (the youngest a two-month-old girl).
The attackers first triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) on the single-lane road in a densely forested area and then brought the Assam Rifles personnel under heavy automatic fire to inflict maximum casualties, bringing back memories of the June 2015 Chandel ambush in the state in which a Dogra battalion of the Indian Army lost 18 men, said a second official. Five days after the Dogra unit was attacked in broad daylight in the Moltuk Valley, India's Special Forces responded with a crossborder raid into Myanmar where they targeted and destroyed two insurgent camps.
The Revolutionary People's Front (RPF), a group under which PLA Manipur operates, on Saturday night claimed responsibility for the ambush, but said it wasn't aware of the presence of family members in the convoy. The RPF statement added that family members should not be moving around in a disturbed area.
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