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[Representational Image]Reuters

On Tuesday, Indian Army's commandos from the elite 21 Para (Special Force) Regiment crossed the border into Myanmar and took down the militants responsible for the deadly ambush on an army convoy in Manipur last week. More than 50 militants were reportedly killed, while some reports said that the toll was more than 100. 

How it started -

The plan to carry out the strike against the insurgents began soon after the Manipur ambush that left 18 army men dead, in the worst attack on the armed forces in 30 years. 

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval reportedly cancelled his Bangladesh visit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the last minute to oversee the intelligence agencies and the army's plan to carry out the strike. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself given the green signal to the Indian Army for "hot pursuit" of the militants in Myanmar.

Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhaag had also rushed to Manipur following the attack, and had reportedly cancelled a trip to the United Kingdom to plan the operation. 

The Myanmar government had on Monday given its assent to the Indian Army's operation in the dense forests of the country's western Sagaing division, The Indian Express reported.

The defence attache at the Indian Embassy, Colonel Gaurav Sharma, then informed the Myanmar military about the nature of the operation, the report said. 

However, The Times of India has reported that the Myanmar government was informed much after the strike had begun across the border. 


On Tuesday, two teams of commandos from the elite 21 Para (Special Force) Regiment crossed into Myanmar in an operation that began at 3 am in the thick of the night.

The Indian Air Force also joined the operation by deploying Mi-35 attack helicopters.

The forces killed the militants in under 30 minutes. At least 50 militants were killed in the strike, according to NDTV, while The Times of India has reported that over 100 militants might have been killed. 

The ToI report states that about 100 militants were killed near the Manipur border, while about 15 were killed near the Nagaland border. 

Two separate groups of insurgents were taken down along the Nagaland and Manipur borders, with the Indian Army stating that significant casualties have been inflicted. 

Forces from the 27 Sector and 10 Sector of Assam Rifles were also involved in the operation. 

Militants belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN(K), People's Liberation Army (PLA), United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) were killed. 

The mastermind behind the Manipur ambush, Starson Lamkang of the NSCN(K), has been injured in the attack, NDTV reported. 

Not Just Revenge for Manipur Attack

The Indian Army's strike on militants in Myanmar was more than just a retaliation for the deadly Manipur ambush on the 6 Dogra regiment convoy last week. 

The strike was also preemptive, as the Indian Army has said that it had intelligence that the insurgents were planning more attacks in India. 

The Ministry of Defence spokesperson, Sitanshu Kar, shared a statement mentioning that there was credible and specific intelligence of further planned attacks on security forces and that the immediate military response was in view of that imminent threat. 

Message to Pakistan

The Indian Army's surgical operation against militants across the border in Myanmar was loaded with a strong message to Pakistan.

"Desh ke dushmanon ko karara jawaab (A strong response to the nation's enemies)," Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, tweeted. 

The Myanmar strike was the first of its kind wherein the Indian Army carried out a cross-border operation during peacetime and represents a significant change in its approach to insurgents along India's borders.