Militants ambush two Army vehicles in TinsukiaThree Army personnel were killed and four injured when a group of 15-20 suspected militants belonging to the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) and the NSCN-K ambushed two Army vehicles around 5.30 am inside the Buri Dihing reserve forest near Pengeri in Tinsukia district of eastern Assam, about 510 km away from here.
The slain jawans belonged to 15 Kumaon Regiment based in Pengeri and were engaged in counter-insurgency operations, sources said. The deceased were identified as Havildar Multan Singh, Havildar Rishipal Singh and Naik Narpat Singh.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal this morning and took stock of the situation after the attack. State Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Sahay, who rushed to the spot, said he suspected the hand of ULFA(I) and its allies and vowed to apprehend the culprits.
The two Army vehicles – a Gypsy and a truck – were on way to the refinery town of Digboi when ambushed, with the militants triggering an IED blast under the Gypsy and opening fire.
The blast created a crater on the road. Security personnel later recovered grenade launchers at the spot. The police and Army have cordoned off the area and launched a combing operation in the area, including the reserve forest. Helicopters have been pressed into service.
The police said the attack was carried out by militants who used sophisticated weapons, including rocket- propelled grenades (RPG), AK-47 assault rifles and mortars.
This is the first major attack on the security forces by the banned ULFA (I) since the BJP-led government headed by Sonowal came to power in Assam in May this year.
It is the second attack by ULFA(I) in Pengeri in three days. On November 16, a civilian was killed and two Assam Industrial Security Force (AISF) personnel were seriously injured when a tea garden vehicle, on its way to collect cash from Doom Dooma to pay workers, was waylaid near Pengeri.