India: Protesters have burned army vehicles after more than a dozen villagers were shot and killed by soldiers, who thought the villagers were “militants”, in India’s Nagaland state.
Indian security forces opened fire on civilians late on Saturday in India’s remote northeast region, which borders Myanmar, according to local media reports.
“The situation in entire Mon district is very tense right now. We have 13 confirmed deaths which include one labourer from outside the Nagaland state,” said Nagaland police officer Sandeep M Tamgadge.
The incident took place in and around Oting village in Mon district during a counterinsurgency operation conducted by members of the Assam Rifles, a part of Indian security forces deployment in the state, a senior police official based in Nagaland said.
Firing began when a truck carrying 30 or more coal-mine labourers was passing the Assam Rifles camp area, officials told Reuters and The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
“The troopers had intelligence inputs about some militant movement in the area and on seeing the truck they mistook the miners to be rebels and opened fire killing six labourers,” the senior police official told Reuters.
“After the news of firing spread in the village, hundreds of tribal people surrounded the camp. They burned Assam Rifles vehicles and clashed with the troopers using crude weapons,” he said.
Members of the Assam Rifles retaliated, and in the second attack eight more civilians and a security member were among those killed, the official said.