Four separatists killed in Manipur encounters


Imphal : Four separatist rebels were killed and a paramilitary trooper wounded in separate attacks, even as a security convoy narrowly escaped a powerful landmine explosion in the restive northeastern state of Manipur, officials said Wednesday.

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A police spokesman said there were three separate encounters between security forces and outlawed militants in Bishenpur and Imphal districts Tuesday. “In one incident, two militants were killed near Lamlai, while one each were gunned down in two different attacks by police commandos,” a police official said from the central control room in state capital Imphal.

All the dead rebels belonged to the outlawed People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a group fighting for an independent homeland in Manipur.

“In one of the encounters, we managed to capture a PLA rebel,” the official said.

In a separate encounter near Moirang in Bishenpur district, militants fired on a paramilitary Assam Rifles trooper and injured him.

“The trooper was on leave and on his way home when the attack took place. He has been admitted to hospital and is stated to be out of danger,” the official said. An Assam Rifles convoy narrowly missed a powerful landmine explosion near Imphal triggered by unknown militants.

“There were no casualties or damage as the explosion took place minutes after the convoy crossed the area,” the official said.

Security forces close to the India-Myanmar border late Tuesday defused a powerful bomb planted along a highway.

There are more than 19 militant groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.