13 found dead after gunfight in Tengnoupal as fresh violence erupts
File Photo / Imphal Manipur

Imphal (Agency): At least 13 people have died in a fresh bout of violence in the Tengnoupal district on Monday afternoon.

Officials in the security forces said that at around noon, inputs were received of a firefight that had broken out between two groups of militants at Letithu village near Saibol in Tengnoupal district.

“The nearest security forces were about 10km away from this place. Once our forces moved in and reached the place, they found 13 bodies in the Leithu village. The forces did not find any weapons next to the bodies,” one officer aware of the matter said.

The officer said that it appeared the dead are not from Leithu area and could have come from another place after which they engaged in a firefight with a separate group.

Neither police nor security forces confirmed the identity of the deceased people.

“The police have reached the spot. They will probe the matter,” the officer added.

Manipur has been roiled by ethnic clashes between Meitei and Kuki communities since May 3. The clashes have left at least 182 dead and around 50000 homeless.

It was only on Sunday that authorities lifted the ban on mobile internet services in the violence-hit state after seven months with the exception of border areas in some districts.

The areas in the above districts are either dominated by Meiteis or Kukis and have witnessed the majority of the violence, gunfights, arson and abductions in the past seven months.

The lifting of suspension came four days after the Centre and Manipur government signed a peace agreement in New Delhi with the United National Liberation Force (UNLF) led by Pambei.