IMPHAL: In a fresh wave of violence in strife-torn Manipur on Monday, 13 people lost their lives in Tengnoupal district of the state.
According to official reports cited by various media outlets, a confrontation occurred between two unidentified armed groups in Leithu village.
The clash erupted when a group of militants, en route to Myanmar, was ambushed by another faction in the region, according to a statement given by a local official to a national news agency.
Security forces swiftly responded to the incident, discovering 13 bodies at the scene.
While the identities of the deceased remain unconfirmed, preliminary assessments suggest that they may not be locals.
The officer on the scene speculated that the deceased individuals might have come from another location, engaging in a deadly firefight with a separate group.
“The police have reached the spot. They will probe the matter,” the officer wqas quoted as saying by a national daily.
Upon closer inspection of the scene, security personnel found no weapons in the vicinity of the bodies, raising perplexing questions about the events leading to the deaths.
The lack of confirmed identities further adds a layer of mystery to the already complex situation.
The area, situated approximately 10 km northwest of Saibol, had recently fell victim to an improvised explosive device (IED) attack targeting an Assam Rifles patrol.
Leithu, until this point, had managed to avoid the direct impact of the ethnic strife between the Meiteis and Kuki-Zo community that has plagued Manipur since the past seven months.
Tengnoupal district’s proximity to Myanmar, marked by a porous border, adds a complicating dimension to the unrest.
The Manipur administration has repeatedly underscored the challenges posed by anti-social elements in the border areas with Myanmar, highlighting the need for concerted efforts to address the growing menace.