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NEW DELHI: Indian soldiers killed a large number of suspected militants in a gunfight along the country's restive border with Myanmar, the army said Wednesday.

A statement posted by the army's eastern command on Twitter said its offensive had resulted in "heavy casualties" to insurgents on the Indian side of the border.

"A column of Indian army, while operating along the Indo-Myanmar border, was fired upon," it said.

Indian troops fired in retaliation, killing "a large number" of militants. No Indian soldier was killed in the firefight, the statement added.

The military added that the insurgents belonged to the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplan, a radical group seeking a 'Greater Nagaland' for the Naga tribe within India and in neighbouring Myanmar.

The Indian army has been battling dozens of separatist militant groups in the northeast for several years.

In 2015, some 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a militant ambush near the Myanmar border, prompting a fierce army counter-offensive.

Much of India's border region with Myanmar is porous and government authority there is considered weak.

Myanmar is also plagued by multiple insurgencies in its border regions, most notably in Rakhine state where it has launched a violent crackdown against Rohingya Muslims over the past month forcing more than 450,000 to flee to other countries.


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