83 rebels killed in Army raid in Myanmar: Govt

NEW DELHI (TIP): Even as there is no official confirmation yet on the casualties suffered by NSCN(K) and other insurgent outfits in June 9 Army crackdown on their camps in Myanmar, intelligence reports with the home ministry indicate that at least 19 insurgents killed on June 9 were given a soldier’s farewell on June 11, with a burial in the presence of a Buddhist religious leader.

The information regarding the burial of insurgents’ bodies in the presence of a Lama came from intelligence assets both on Indian and Myanmar side of the border, said a home ministry official. The ministry has also learnt from multiple sources, including those based in villages dotting the Myanmar-Manipur border and trusted aides in touch with Myanmar authorities, that around 49 bodies were removed from the site where the camps stood after the Army raid flattened them.

In addition, as many as 60 injured cadres were shifted out in 12-13 vehicles to safer locations in Kalemyo, Mandalay and beyond.

The estimated 68 casualties in PLA and Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front camps across the Manipur border is over and above the 15 NSCN(K) insurgents believed to have been killed as they vacated a camp across Nagaland-Myanmar border soon after the Army special forces struck on Tuesday,

Home ministry officials insist their casualty estimates are credible since they are based on ground reports collated after speaking to local villagers and sources in touch with the Myanmar army and intelligence agencies. There were inputs that the search for bodies has not been abandoned yet. The officials claimed that the figures are more or less corroborated by ground reports collected by Military Intelligence.

Initial reports coming in a day after the raids had indicated that 30 insurgents were killed and six injured. This figure was further revised to 38 killed and 12 injured later. However, fresh intelligence inputs on Friday pointed to a much higher casualty figure at 68 killed in camps across Manipur and 15 across Nagaland, besides 60 injured.

The Army strikes were in retaliation against a series of attacks by NSCN(K) on Indian Army personnel, including the June 4 ambush at Chandel, Manipur, that left 18 soliders dead. The NSCN(K), in a press statement issued jointly with KYKL and KCP on June 9, owned up to the ambush and accorded a “warm victory reception” to the joint assault team that returned after “vanquishing the enemy forces”.

They acknowledged the loss of two senior cadres, unit commander “Major” Rajanglung of “Naga Army” and “Corporal” Amit alias Keisham Rajen of KYKL, during and after the ambush.

“The glorious victory of the combined team is a landmark step towards Naga-Meiti unified struggle for WESEA against Indian colonialism,” stated the release signed by “Colonel” Isak Sumi of NSCN(K), Th Thoiba of KYKL and S Mangal of KCP.

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