IEDs are ‘biggest enemy’ of security forces in manipur: Army

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INDIA-MYANMAR BORDER (MANIPUR): Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a major threat to security forces, which also face daunting challenges in operations and fear possible misuse of the ‘free movement regime’ with Myanmar while seeking to contain insurgency in the most violent state in the Northeast, Manipur, said senior army officers. Thirty eight camps of insurgents are located across the border in Myanmar, they said.

IEDs are the army’s “biggest enemy” as they are responsible for numerous casualties of security forces, said one of the officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said 30 IEDs have already been recovered from Manipur this year, up from 29 in entire 2017. However, the number of IED and grenade blasts has fallen to 17 so far this year, from 35 last year. Insurgents make use of the local terrain to plant IEDs and lay an ambush, said people aware of the matter. Although the army has adequate bomb disposal teams and IED detection dogs, insurgents are able to make these explosive devices with cheap and easily available material, they said. In June 2015, insurgent used multiple types of IEDs in an ambush on an army convoy in Manipur’s Chandel district that killed 18 soldiers. Since then, the army has taken several steps to counter the menace.

“IEDs are so easy to assemble and hide. We have taken countermeasures and statistics show that we are in control of things,” said Major General Vijay Kumar Mishra, the general officer commanding of the Manipur-based 57 Mountain Division.





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