At least one Assam Rifles soldier was killed and one other injured by suspected National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) militants, known as NSCN-IM, during an ambush in Arunachal Pradesh state on Wednesday evening, October 21. The incident occurred when security forces were conducting a cordon and search operation near Saniliam village in the Tirap district, and militants opened fire on a patrol.
Further security operations are likely in the area in the near term.
Naga groups have sought a sovereign ethnic homeland in Nagaland and Naga-inhabited areas, including Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Myanmar since the 1950s. The Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM has been in a ceasefire with the Indian government since signing a peace treaty in 1997, and the Indian central government has been in renewed peace talks with Naga-right groups since 2015. However, the peace talks stalled in October 2019 amid demands from the NSCN-IM that the Naga people be accorded a separate constitution and flag. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hampered recent attempts to resume talks.
Those in the abovementioned area are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized business and transportation disruptions, and obey all instructions issued by local authorities.
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