Heavily armed militants on Monday night launched deadly attacks at Tanjeng Khunou in Kakching district, opening fire and hurling bombs in the village, as unrest flared in the strife-torn state despite stringent security measures and appeal for peace.
According to sources, the militants reportedly launched the indiscriminate attack on the village around 9:00 PM from Tangjeng Ahallup in Bishnupur district adjoining Tanjeng Khunu and Bongmol area in Churachandpur district.
Following this, the village volunteers on guard duty also retaliated by firing upon the militants, thus engaging in a fierce crossfire. Monday's attack is the latest in Manipur’s escalating communal violence, the worst in decades.
The shootout went on for hours and lasted till 3:30 AM on Tuesday. However, there are no confirmed reports of casualties from the fighting till the time of filing this report.
Upon hearing news of the gun battle, an additional team of Kakching district police under the supervision of Kakching SP, Th Vikramjit immediately rushed to the area to provide cover to the frantic residents and ensure that no danger befalls them. Security measures were also beefed up in the area following the attack.
Speaking to media on the sidelines, a woman resident of the village expressed apprehension over the attack by suspected armed Kuki militants and narrated a similar encounter that occurred earlier in Tanjeng Khunou area, which forced the residents to flee their homes in fear for their lives.
She asserted that numerous appeals have been made to the state government to remove the bunkers set up by the Kukis along the roadside near the village to assure the safety of the conflict-wary villagers but to no avail till date.
She lamented that the village remains vulnerable to militant attacks and urged the government to take necessary measures for the safety of the villagers at the earliest.