An Indian Army Colonel, his wife and son were among seven persons killed on Saturday after militants ambushed a convoy of the Assam Rifles in Manipur’s Churachandpur district, NDTV reported. Four other soldiers died in the ambush.

The attack took place around 10 am near the Sekhen village, about 3 km away from Behang sub-division in the district and close to the Myanmar border. The People’s Liberation Army and Manipur Naga People’s Front claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.

Colonel Viplav Tripathi, who was killed in the attack, was the Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles. He was returning to his base camp with his wife and son from the Behiang company post when his convoy was ambushed, according to The Indian Express.

Tripathi and three personnel belonging to the Quick Response Team were killed on the spot, according to the Assam Rifles. The injured personnel have been admitted to the Behianga health centre.

The militants used automatic rifles of the AK series and set off some powerful remote-controlled bombs, The Hindu reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack and said his thoughts were with the bereaved families. “I pay homage to those soldiers and family members who have been martyred today,” he said. “Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and said that the perpetrators will be brought to justice soon. “The cowardly attack on an Assam Rifles convoy in Churachandpur, Manipur is extremely painful and condemnable,” he said in a tweet.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said an operation has been launched by the state forces and paramilitary troops to track down the militants. “Strongly condemn the cowardly attack,” he said in a tweet. “The perpetrators will be brought to justice.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the attack in Manipur “proves once again that the Modi government is incapable of ensuring the country’s security.”

Gandhi paid tributes to those who died and expressed condolences to their families. “The country will remember your sacrifice,” he said.