Manipur separatists kill four more, toll rises to 12


Imphal : Separatists shot dead four people Tuesday and wounded two in Manipur, taking the toll of non-Manipuri people killed in separate attacks to 12 in the past two days, officials said.

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A police spokesman said there were three attacks Tuesday in which four people were killed and two injured, one of them critically.

Three people were shot dead by militants near Sanjenbam village on the outskirts of state capital Imphal, while another was killed a few kilometres away at Kanglasangomshang village.

“All the four killed were non-Manipuri people although we are yet to identify their state of origin,” a police official, who declined to be identified, said here.

In the third incident at Saikul village in Senapati district, two non-Manipuri men were shot at and injured, one of them seriously.

Eight non-Manipuri people were killed late Monday – seven of them on a roadside near Mayai Lambi on the outskirts of Imphal.

“The seven people were brought in a van and then were lined up on the roadside with their hands tied to their back and were shot dead from close range with automatic weapons,” K. Tomba Singh, a police official, told IANS.

In another incident a few miles away from Mayai Lambi, militants shot dead one more person under similar circumstances.

“All those killed were definitely non-Manipuri people and were doing petty business in the area. For security reasons we would not like to reveal their names or their places of origin as that could flare up tension in the state,” said L. Kailul, police superintendent of Imphal East district.

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We suspect the attacks were carried out either by the outlawed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) or the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) although we are yet to pinpoint the group involved,” Kailul said.

The PLA and the KYKL are both fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in the state of 2.4 million people.

This is the first time in Manipur that militants have targeted migrants.

“We don’t know the motive behind the killings yet,” Kailul said.

In the adjoining state of Assam, militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) have since long been engaged in a systematic attack on Hindi-speaking migrant workers, killing up to 200 people in the last five years.

There are 19 militant groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy. A number of militant groups have bases in Myanmar with Manipur sharing an unfenced border with the junta-ruled country.