Manipur violence: 13 persons killed in fresh gunfight in Tengnoupal district

Tengnoupal: At least 13 persons were killed during a fresh round of violence between two suspected militant groups in Tengnoupal district on Monday afternoon.

As per security officials, the incident occurred at Leithu village, a Kuki dominated area near Saibol in Tengnoupal district when a group of individuals on their way to Myanmar were intercepted by another group, suspected to be a militant group dominant in the area, killing the 13 persons on the spot.

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Troops of Assam Rifles, located around 10 km in proximity to the shootout place, carried out an operation after inputs regarding the incident was received. During the operation, 13 dead bodies were recovered at Leithu village but no weapons were found among the dead bodies.

However, official source informed that the deceased individuals appear to be not from the village but may have come from another area, suspected to be valley militant group as they engaged in the gunfight with another group operating in the area.

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The identities of the deceased are still unknown either by security forces or Tengnoupal police by the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, official source also informed that police have reached the place and investigation is underway. This is a developing story.

It may be mentioned that on Sunday, after seven months of internet suspension, the government reopened the mobile internet services in most parts of the state except in conflict areas. 

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In another news, Police in restive Manipur recovered a cache of arms and ammunition today in a joint operation with central security forces in the fringe area of Imphal East district. The recovered arms and ammunition were three SMG carbines with empty magazines, 15 HE 36 hand grenades without detonator, six WP smoke grenades without detonator, 18 two inches (2”) mortar HE bombs and six 75 MK-2 detonators, police said.

The cache or arms was discovered during a cordon and search operation at hill range of Nongshum and Khamenlok areas under Sagolmang police station of Imphal East district bordering Kangpokpi district.

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The operation was conducted by a combined team of Sagolmang police station, Imphal East police commandos and a column of 18 and 32 Assam Rifles. The operation started from around 9.30 am and lasted till 2.30 pm, the police also said.

The police suspected the arms were being kept hidden by unknown miscreants.

The police along with the state and the central security forces have been conducting combing operations in the fringe and vulnerable areas of the violent affected districts of the state to recover arms and ammunition in the possessions of the miscreants engaged in the gun clashes in the backdrop of ethnic conflict unfolding in the state since May 3 last.

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During the initial stage of the violence clashes, mobs have looted a total of 5,668 arms along with over 50,000 rounds of ammunition from the police and armouries of the state security forces.

Looting of maximum numbers of arms and ammunition took place in Imphal West, Imphal East and Churachandpur districts, according to the police.

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