Kuki-zo people near the Wall of Memories in Churachandpur, Manipur
Kuki-zo people near the Wall of Memories in Churachandpur, ManipurPic- Rajan Chaudhary, The Mooknayak

Manipur Violence : 13 Found Dead in Tengnoupal District Following Gunfight

13 people found dead in firing between militant groups in Manipur.

New Delhi— At least 13 people were found dead in a village in Manipur's Tengnoupal district on Monday, security officials said, after reports of a gunfight between two militant groups in the area.

The bodies were found in Leithu village, about 10 km from where the fighting broke out near Saibol, the officials said. They were unarmed, the officials added.

"It appeared that 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," said one officer who asked not to be named.

Neither police nor the security forces have confirmed the identity of the people killed. A police spokesperson said an investigation had been launched.

The remote state has been wracked by ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities since May, in which 182 people have died and 50,000 have been displaced from their homes.

The fighting has been concentrated in the border areas of Churachandpur, Tengnoupal and Chandel districts, which are either dominated by Meiteis or Kukis.

The groups have been fighting for a separate state or for greater autonomy from the majority Meitei community. The violence has included gun battles, arson and abductions.

Authorities on Sunday lifted a seven-month-long ban on mobile internet services in the state, with the exception of some border areas. The suspension was lifted after the Centre and the Manipur government signed a peace agreement with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the oldest militant outfit in the state.

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