At least two village volunteers were killed on Thursday in a series of gun battles with Kuki militants in various areas across Bishnupur district, as incidents of heavy gun battles gripped the violence-hit state, sources said.
The deceased persons have been identified as one Moirangthem Ropen, 44 years, son of Commander from Yourbung, presently staying at Nungoi and 50-year-old Pebam Devan, son of late Ibomcha of Thamnapokpi Ward number 5.
According to the sources, village volunteers of Thamnapokpi Ward No 6 in Bishnupur district were engaged in an intense exchange of fire with Kuki militants.
So far, at least five Kuki militants had been confirmed dead in the series of gunbattles since Tuesday.
Ropen and Devan were killed in a retaliatory fire and bombing by Kuki militants in the village around 3 pm.
The lifeless bodies of the two were shifted to RIMS mortuary by police around 7 pm. However, a mob of Meira Paibis arrived at the morgue and took the bodies back.
According to confirmed sources, at least two Kuki militants who were injured on Wednesday firefight near Naranseina in Bishnupur district succumbed to injuries on Thursday at Churachandpur district hospital.
The two were identified as one LS Mangboi, 42 years and Richard Henkholun, 31 years.
Earlier on Tuesday, Jangminlun Gangte, 30 years, died of gunshot injuries.
Meanwhile, suspected Kuki militants also opened unprovoked firing towards the 2nd IRB Battalion Head Quarter at Naranseina Maning in Bishnupur district around 5:00 am, sources said.
The IRB personnel also retaliated after the militants opened fire, in which 2 Kuki militants were killed in the gunfight.
Heavy exchange of fire and bombing also took place at Kangathei between village volunteers and Kuki militants. Two militants were suspected to have been killed in the gunbattle. One militant was also killed in a separate gunbattle incident.
This comes just a day after heavy firing took place intermittently at Naranseina Maning Leikai under Moirang Police Station in Bishnupur district for the day on Wednesday wherein 2 IRB personnel and 4 village volunteers were injured.
The unprovoked firing by Kuki militants at the village erupted on early Tuesday morning, making it the third day on Thursday, in which the State forces and village volunteers resorted to retaliatory firing, resulting in casualties and injuries on both sides.
On the other hand, World Kuki-Zo Intellectual Council has condemned the violence against Kuki-Zo people in areas bordering Bishnupur district since August 29.
Apropos to the statement issued by the ITLF in connection with the emergency shutdown in the four areas, namely Lonphai, Khousabung, Kangvai and Sugnu, claiming that these areas are under attack, the state government has clarified that there was no any attack in the aforesaid four areas as claimed.
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