Kohima, May 9: An NSCN-IM cadre was killed and four others were injured in a continued gun battle between rival factions of NSCN, while the Nagaland Home Minister today made an urgent plea to stop the bloodshed.
Official sources said inter-factional clashes started from a place between Xelhozhe and Seithemima 'A' villages of Dimapur town yesterday when NSCN-IM cadres reportedly attacked a camp of the NSCN (Unification).
The gun battle continued till reinforcement of the NSCN(U) arrived. NSCN-IM cadres retreated from the populated area and went towards a jungle near Seithekiema village, sources added.
In the gun battle, an NSCN-IM cadre was killed and another injured. Two cadres of the rival NSCN(U) were also reportedly injured. Sophisticated assault rifles and grenade launchers were used.
Home Minister Imkong L Imchen described the incident as 'very disturbing' and appealed to all leaders of Naga underground groups to cease fire and stop fighting against each other.
''Bloodshed among Nagas has already gone beyond imaginable limit and it is time to think and talk peace among Nagas to usher in a peaceful atmosphere and discuss issue across the table,'' Mr Imchen said in a release here.
Sources said the gun battle was stopped by villagers who chased away the warring insurgents with spears and daos(machetes).
The fight later spread to Diphupar 'B' village, where five schools, including the Government Primary School, were caught in the firing line and students had to lie down on the ground for hours.
The people of the village, risking their lives amid the flying bullets, came out armed with spears and daos and chase away the cadres.
Although there was no civilian casualty, part of a house was gutted in a grenade hit.
The district administration rushed to the spot with police force, but by then the warring NSCN cadres had left the place. Police later recovered at least five 'missed' grenades and a live one from the spot.
Angry residents of the Diphupar Village Council, along with the Council Members of Sovima, Ikshe and other neighbouring villages have called a 'Diphupar bandh' today. The district administration has already beefed up security throughout Dimapur town. Heavy frisking of vehicles was also on.