Heavily armed rebels ambushed and killed five Indian paramilitary soldiers on Sunday in the latest attack in India's northeastern region bordering Myanmar.

The soldiers were on their way to take part in a rescue operation after a rain-triggered mudslide hit Chandel district in Manipur state, a police officer said.

The rebels fired at paramilitary Assam Rifles soldiers in the forest area, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to reporters.

The region is home to active rebel groups that operate from both sides of the India-Myanmar border. The attack occurred on the Indian side, about 15km from the border.

In June last year, the rebels used rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons to ambush an Indian military convoy, killing 18 soldiers in the same area.

Rebel groups accuse India's government of exploiting the region's rich natural resources while neglecting local development.

Most of the main armed groups in Manipur state are not engaged in ceasefire talks with the Indian government, unlike those in other remote northeastern states.

The mountainous region, known for its natural beauty, has been battling rebellions for decades.

 

Source: Agencies