The militant attack on Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur district on Saturday, which led to the killing of at least five personnel, including the commanding officer, along with his wife and minor son, was found to be carried out using at least seven IEDs and grenade launchers.
According to a report in the Imphal Free Press, the IEDs were used to confuse the moving convoy, as most were planted on the roadside and firing started presumably from a close range after the explosions.
Five vehicles, including a Bolero in which the commanding officer was travelling, a pilot vehicle and another escort vehicle, were attacked on Saturday, of which the Bolero received over 80 bullets, while another vehicle received at least half of those.
At least 10 bullet holes were found on the pilot vehicle. Six empty shells of granade launchers were also recovered from the site, the local news report said.
Judging by the damage to the vehicles, the militants were likely on the right side of the road, the report said.
Moreover, bullet marks on the windscreen and the back of the vehicles indicated that the attackers came out in the open on the road and shot the officer on point blank range, it added.
Meanwhile, with the recovery of four empty magazines on the spot, the police suspect that one of the escort teams must have retaliated and injured some of the militants, as there were signs of bloodstains at the spot from where the militants fled.
The attack took place near Behiang T village and not S Sehken, as reported earlier by some media. The DIG of 27th Sector, Brig Ashis Rangan, very close to the spot, reportedly visited the spot on Sunday with expert teams to take stock of the situation.
The escort vehicle was not hit at the curved road but they had made attempts to retaliate, as four empty magazines were found.
Secretary of the village authority of Behiang, T Haukhanmung, told local reporters that no underground groups had ever come to their village, and that after the Assam Rifles convoy came on Saturday, they heard bomb explosions followed by firing.
Villagers, fearing that the attack was happening in their own villages, ran into their homes. They have appealed to the underground groups to never repeat such incidents in their village.
Following the attack, the local villagers informed the OC of Behiang and covered the bodies of the deceased with traditional shawls.
The locals condemned the attack but assured that they have not been troubled by militants in their village before. Fearing the aftermath, the villagers gathered at the village chief’s home.
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