Three army jawans were killed and four were seriously wounded in an alleged encounter with suspected militants of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) in upper Assam on Saturday morning.The incident occurred during an army operation carried out in the early hours inside the Burhi Dihing reserve forest in Tinsukia district, nearly 510 km north-east of Guwahati.
“Militants belonging to the Ulfa militants attacked the army convoy with rocket propelled grenades, hitting a truck and a jeep. Three soldiers were killed and four critically injured in the attack,” Mukesh Agarwalla, Assam’s additional police chief, told Reuters.The injured were airlifted to a nearby army base hospital with multiple wounds, according to the officials.
“The area is thickly forested and that gave the militants an edge to attack and escape immediately after the strike,” an army commander said, requesting not to be identified.Army, police, and paramilitary troopers have since launched a massive hunt for the rebels and to seal escape routes, an army official said.This was the second attack by insurgents this week . On Wednesday, an encounter took place near the same area where one person was killed and two others sustained injuries in an attack on a cash van belonging to Pengeri tea estate by suspected Ulfa (I) militants.
Home minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that he had spoken to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and that the MHA was monitoring the situation.