Manipur Ambush: Chief Minister Hints at Intelligence Failure, Army Disagrees

A memorial service was held in Imphal for the soldiers killed in Thursday's attack

Imphal: As the nation pays its tributes to the brave soldiers who were killed in an ambush in Manipur, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has said that the incident is a lesson for the intelligence agencies.

"This is part of intelligence onus. They should learn a lesson," Mr Singh told NDTV during a memorial service in Imphal for the soldiers killed in the attack.

He also requested the Myanmar government for help after reports that the group of militants may have crossed the border.

"We want to request the Myanmar government to please help us. These insurgents they can easily cross the border and enter Myanmar," Mr Singh said.

However, the Army has rejected reports that the incident took place because of intelligence failure.

"You cannot call it an intelligence failure. We keep on getting intelligence and we act on them. Many incidents get prevented too. This one unfortunately happened," Major General Bipin Rawat, Commander, 3 Corps of the Indian Army told NDTV.

"We can't say there are security lapses. Inputs that are coming in to us are numerous. Militant actions against us are few and far between," he added pitching for the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA. "We will carry on with AFSPA but we will only look for people who are helping the insurgents," Major General Rawat said.

18 armymen were killed and at least 11 injured when militants ambushed their convoy in Manipur's Chandel district on Thursday morning, in what is being described as the worst casualties the Army has suffered in recent years. Sources say 50 militants carried out the attack and used US-made rocket launchers on the Army commandos travelling in two trucks.

The bodies of the soldiers killed in Thursday's attack will be flown to their respective states today.
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