5 militants killed in an encounter in Manipur

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Bishenpur (Manipur), Sept 9 : Security personnel shot dead five separatist guerrillas hiding out on an island in the middle of a lake in Bishenpur area of Manipur during an encounter, police officials said on Tuesday.

The rebels, belonging to PREPAK, a powerful armed group in Manipur were hiding in a house they had built in one of the lake's in many small islands, a defence spokesman said.

Officials said that large cache of arms and ammunitions have been recovered from the militants.

"We have got five dead bodies of the militant group and one female cadre sustained bullet injuries. And the recovery of arms and ammunitions, probably I think we have not had such large recovery in the past," said Y. Joy Kumar, Director General of Police (DGP).

Residents said that encounter began on Monday.

"Encounter started on Monday at around 5 p.m., which lasted for few hours. Then the encounter was resumed again around 3 a.m. We heard that four militants were killed," said Inaocha Thokchom, a resident.

Loktak lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the mountainous region, made up of eight troubled states.

Police said PREPAK rebels were responsible for an assassination bid on the life of Manipur's Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh last week.

The rebels fired a shell on Singh's fortified house, but nobody was hurt.

India's northeast, comprising eight states, has seen separatist and tribal insurgencies for the past 60 years, as militant groups accuse the Central Government of plundering the region's mineral and forest resources, but investing little in return.

The region is home to more than 200 tribes and ethnic groups.

ANI

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