Angry villagers who set fire to army vehicles are among more than a dozen civilians killed by soldiers in India’s remote north-east region along the border with Myanmar.
An army officer said the soldiers fired at a truck, killing six people, after receiving intelligence about a movement of insurgents in the area. As villagers reacted by burning two army vehicles, the soldiers fired at them, killing seven more people, the officer said, adding that one soldier was also killed in the clash.
Nagaland state’s top elected official, Neiphiu Rio, ordered a probe into the killings, which occurred on Saturday: “The unfortunate incident leading to the killing of civilians at Oting is highly condemnable.”
Insurgents often cross into Myanmar after attacking Indian government forces in the remote area.
Nyamtow Konyak, a local community leader, said those killed were coalminers.
India’s home minister Amit Shah expressed anguish over the “unfortunate incident” and said the state government would investigate the killings.
The army officer said the soldiers had laid an ambush for a week following intelligence that insurgents were planning to attack soldiers in the area, 250 英里 (400公里) east of Gauhati, the capital of Assam state.
There are dozens of ethnic insurgent groups in India’s remote north-east whose demands range from independent homelands to maximum autonomy within India.
With Reuters and Associated Press