Bengaluru, June 10: The Indian Army on Tuesday launched a campaign in Myanmar with the latter's help to flush out militants who were involved in the killing of 18 soldiers in Manipur on June 4. The army mad the move after learning that most of the militants who had taken part in the attack had fled to Myanmar after the ambush. [NSA Ajit Doval gave Dhaka visit a miss to plan Myanmar operation]
The operation is set to continue in the coming days as several militant groups have been active in the Northeast. [How Sushma swaraj got the ball rolling]
Sources in the Indian Army said their strikes inflicted heavy casualties on the militants. [Interview: Why Myanmar operation can't be replicated in Pakistan?]
However, this is not the first time that the Indian Army has involved itself in anti-militant operations in a neighbouring country.
Operation All Clear (2003-04)
The Royal Bhutan Army conducted cross-border operations on Bhutanese soil between December 2003 and January 2004 to eliminate militants based in South Bhutan. The Indian Army deployed 12 battalions along the Bhutan border to prevent rebels from entering the Indian territory and also provided helicopters to assist the Royal Bhutan Army troops to evacuate the injured. About 30 militant camps, including those of the ULFA, NDFB and KLO were targetted in the intelligence-based operation and the Indian Army had later said that 650 militants were neutralised, either killed or caught, during the operations.
Operation Golden Bird (995)
India and Myanmar conduced a joint military operation Operation Golden Bird along the Mizoram border in April-May 1995 following the signing of an MoU for maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas.
The 57th Mountain Division of the Indian Army intercepted a column of militants moving through the Myanmar-Mizoram border towards Manipur with a consignment of weapons. Thirty eight rebels were killed while 118 were caught with weapons.
But the operation was disrupted after Myanmar's military rulers pulled out of the joint operation to protest the Indian government's decision to award Aung Sang Suu Kyi with the Nehru Peace Prize. The trapped militants escaped as a result.
In January 2006, Indian and Myanmar reportedly conducted some small-scale joint military operations inside Myanmar to flush out militants from the NSCN (Khaplang) group. This was supposedly done through exchange if some military equipment to Myanmar Army by India following some high-level visits by the Indian president, defence minister and Air Force chief to the neighbour.