NEW DELHI: Three soldiers of the 4 Rajput Regiment were killed and four others seriously wounded when suspected militants ambushed their vehicle in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The attack took place around 8.30 on April 2 near Old Thupi village, around 530 km from the state capital Itanagar, on the Khonsa-Longding road, when the army convoy of four-vehicles were going towards Longding district of Arunachal from an army base in Assam's Tinsukia district.

The convoy was attacked by heavily armed militants, suspected to be from National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang faction (NSCN-K ), while they were headed towards Longding after staying overnight at a transit camp in Khonsa, the district headquarters.

"The army convoy was on its way to Longding district in Arunachal Pradesh from an army base in Assam's Tinsukia district. When the convoy reached Topi area, a group of suspected militants started indiscriminate firing," an official informed.

He said "We suspect the role of NSCN-Khaplang faction behind the attack. The NSCN faction must have taken the help of anti-talk faction of ULFA militants in carrying out the ambush”.

However, the role of the other faction of the militant organisation, NSCN- Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) could not be ruled out either, he added.

Arunachal Pradesh has been quite an exception with respect to the blooming militancy in the north-east region.While the other states have been riddled with various rebel groups seeking separate homelands, Arunachal has been comparatively peaceful.

However, the two districts of Tirap and Changlong, bordering Myanmar has seen militants groups trying to control stretches of territory to access camps in Myanmar.NSCN factions have stronghold in this area which is often used by anti-talk faction of ULFA as well to sneak over to the neighbouring Myanmar.

NSCN (K) which is fighting for a separate homeland for Nagas had recently abrogated the ceasefire agreement with the central government.