Several killed in case of 'mistaken identity' - Here's what is happening in Nagaland

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At least 11 civilians and were killed today by security forces in a case of "mistaken identity" in Oting village in Mon district of Nagaland after a counter-insurgency operation went wrong. Mon shares a porous international border with Myanmar, where the Yung Aung faction of NSCN (K) is based.

The exact number of fatalities, however, is yet to be ascertained as 11 people died on the spot, and several others succumbed to their injuries in hospitals in neighbouring Assam. A soldier from the security forces also succumbed to his injuries.

What was the incident?

The civilians were allegedly fired at by security forces who suspected them to be terrorists.

The incident took place between Oting and Tiru villages when some daily-wage labourers were returning home in a pick-up van from a coal mine on Saturday evening, the police officer said.

The vehicle was allegedly fired upon by Army personnel, who were conducting an operation in the area after receiving inputs on the movement of militants of Yung Aung faction of proscribed outfit NSCN (K), he said.

As villagers were killed in the firing in a case of mistaken identity, the locals surrounded the security forces who again fired in self-defence.

An investigation is underway to ascertain whether the incident was a case of mistaken identity, the officer said

How has the Army and Chief Minister reacted?

The army has ordered Court of Inquiry into killing of civilians.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio condemned the incident and assured that it will be investigated.

"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," he tweeted.

Deputy Chief Minister Yanthungo Patton promised that justice will be delivered.

"Oting's (Mon) disturbing and tragic incident in which civilians were killed will be thoroughly investigated and justice will be served. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. In the wake of the tragedy, I urge peace from everyone!" he tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed anguish over the reported killings

Conveying his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the "unfortunate incident", Shah said that a high-level SIT constituted by the state government to probe into the matter will ensure that justice is brought to bereaved families.

"Anguished over an unfortunate incident in Nagaland's Oting, Mon. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives. A high-level SIT constituted by the State govt will thoroughly probe this incident to ensure justice to the bereaved families," Shah tweeted this morning.

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