At least eight members of the Indian paramilitary force Assam Rifles were killed and six others were injured in an attack by militants in the Indian state of Nagaland on Sunday. Militants of the Naga nationalist group National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) are suspected of being behind the attacks, which took place in the Mon district bordering Myanmar, according to local media reports.
Nagaland is located in India's northeast, a region far removed the power center of New Delhi and further isolated from the rest of the country by a rugged, mountainous landscape. The state itself has witnessed frequent insurgencies and inter-ethnic conflict since the 1950s. Naga nationalist groups like NSCN-K and its parent organization NSCN have campaigned for the creation of a "Greater Nagaland" -- a region that encompasses parts of Manipur and Assam.
"A group of 18 jawans [soldiers] of 23rd Assam Rifles was travelling in a truck to fetch water from a stream near Changlangsu village ... when they were ambushed upon by militants, who we suspect are NSCN (K) cadres," a security official told the Times of India, an Indian newspaper. "There was retaliatory firing from Assam Rifles and reports received so far say that eight jawans and a militant have died. Six jawans have also sustained injuries and four others are missing."
Sunday's incident is the second major attack by the NSCN-K on Indian security forces in the region following the abrogation of a 14-year ceasefire in March. Militants of the group were implicated in an attack on an Indian army convoy, which killed three soldiers, in the state of Arunachal Pradesh on April 2.