Naga leader arrested for murdering 20 Indian troops

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NEW DELHI:

India on Monday arrested a rebel leader accused of involvement in the killing of 20 soldiers in the remote northeastern state of Manipur earlier this month, an official statement said.

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) captured Khumlo Abi of the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) more than three weeks after heavily armed rebels ambushed a military convoy, killing 20 soldiers.

“Investigation has revealed that the accused was extensively involved in the conspiracy to attack the army personnel,” the agency said in a statement late Monday, adding it was their first arrest in the case.

A week after the June 4 incident — one of the deadliest attacks in the restive region — New Delhi said its forces had hunted down a rebel group operating in the mountainous forests of Manipur, close to Myanmar’s long western border.

Local Indian press had cited sources as saying soldiers had crossed into Myanmar and killed some 15 militants who escaped across the border, after coordination between the two countries.