As many as 14 people, including 13 civilians, were killed in an army operation conducted at Oting in Mon district of Nagaland late Saturday, according to sources.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Army’s 3 Corps claimed responsibility for the killing of the civilians and stated that it “deeply regretted” the incident.
“Based on credible intelligence of likely movement of insurgents, a specific operation was planned to be conducted in the area of Tiru, Mon district, Nagaland. The incident and its aftermath are deeply regretted.
"The cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per the course of law.
"The security forces have suffered severe injuries in the incident including one soldier who succumbed to the injuries," the HQ 3 Corps said in the statement.
Following the incident, the Nagaland government has ordered a high-level probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio appealed for peace among all sections and assured justice.
“The unfortunate incident leading to killing of civilians at Oting, Mon is highly condemnable.Condolences to the bereaved families & speedy recovery of those injured. High level SIT will investigate & justice delivered as per the law of the land.Appeal for peace from all sections,” the chief minister tweeted.
It may be mentioned that only on Saturday (December 4), the chief minister said he had a fruitful phone discussion with Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh on several matters
"Called on Honourable@DefenceMinIndia Shri@rajnathsingh in New Delhi. We had a fruitful discussion on several matters, including Ciethu airport. I am grateful to him for his constant support for Nagaland," Rio said in a Twitter post on Saturday.
According to a report in Nagaland Express, the security forces reportedly ambushed a truck in which a group of civilians were travelling back to Oting village from Lower Tiru village after their daily work. The bodies of those killed in the ambush were taken to Mon district HQ for post mortem.
The funeral service of the civilians killed in the incident has been pospond to Monday. It will be held at Mon Public ground at 10 am, the sources added.