The gunbattle between Kuki militants and state forces, including village volunteers, continued at Kwakta, Bishnupur district on Sunday as the attacks by suspected Kuki militants did not stop after the killing of three men at Kwakta, according to sources.
Suspected Kuki militants stationed at Thangjing hill range fired towards the Kwakta area, particularly at Islamabad Leikai, located at 2 km from Kwakta Bazar around 4.15 pm.
Retaliating to their attacks, the state force with special commando team which were stationed near Qutub Wali Masjid also fired back, the sources said.
As per sources, the attack started during the time of Asr Azan (Half Sunset Namaz). Suspected Kuki militants shot rounds of bullets at the Masjid, and the men who were gathered for Namaz (prayer) were stopped, sources said. To protect them, the state force including commando team gathered at Qutub Wali Masjid and retaliated, as per sources.
The Meitei Pangals (Manipuri Muslims) who were there at masjid to pray Asr namaz were protected by a police team and they managed to pray only two rakat of namaz. However, the firing continued till sunset and they could not perform the Maghrib Azan and Namaz, the sources added.
The roof of the masjid was destroyed due to the attack by Kuki militants. The men who were there for prayers appealed not to attack the Masjid and urged to stop the firing and killing.
The Muslims, who were residing at Gothol near Thangjing hill range, also fled. Responding to a query, they said that Kuki militants told them to shift their houses to a safer area. But some of them fled on their own with the fear of getting hurt in the crossfire.
There are no reports of any casualty due to the attack till the filing of this report.