Five PREPAK militants killed in Manipur

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Imphal, Sep 9 (UNI) Five top ranking People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) Cobra Task force militants were killed and a woman cadre was injured in an encounter between the militants and a combined force of Manipur police and troops of 57 Mountain Division in Bishenpur district today.

Director General of Police Manipur Y. Joykumar during said the operation arms and ammunition, which were recovered included four AK-56 Rifle, one M-79 (Lethod Gun), one M-16 UBGL, one 60 mm Mortar, one M-81 UMG, one RPG Launcher, 22 Lethod bombs, three RPF Shell, five RPG Charger(Booster), five Mortar bombs, five Chinese grenades, one 36 HE grenade, four kg RDX, detonators, 13 AK magazines, 2 M-16 magazines, 340 M-16 ammunition, 1200 rounds of AK ammunition, 13 wireless sets and three binoculars.

The group was responsible for an attack launched on the Chief Minister Okram Jbobi Singh residence earlier, the DGP said.

The woman cadre was hospitalised at J N Hospital, Imphal under tight security.

Talking to newspersons, the DGP said the operation was unique as it was carried out at Loktak, the only ''floating lake'' in the world, hitherto considered a safe haven of militants.

He said in Manipur the police was actively involved in counter insurgency operations along with Army and Assam Rifles forces.

He said hovercraft will be used to ensure that militants do not construct camps at Loktak lake in future.

The police and the Army had been planning the operation for a long time as it required high precision and expertise since it was carried out inside a lake.

There was no collateral damage to any private property, he said.

The raid which was the first of its kind in the Loktak Lake resulted not only in the death of five militants, but it was suspected that four more militants could have died. However, their bodies were not recovered so far.

The DGP said the success of this extremely difficult operation was due to the high level of training of Security Forces, close cooperation with Bishenpur Police Commandos, and the enthusiastic support of the local population.

Informed sources revealed that very sophisticated technology and techniques were utilised to execute the operation.

Maj Gen TS Handa, SM, GOC 57 Mountain Division was personally involved in coordinating this operation. He congratulated all troops of the Army and Police for the brilliantly executed and extremely difficult operation. He thanked the local villagers of Bishenpur District for their support.

The DGP said the equation was carried out at Ngakrapat inside Loktak Lake on the eastern side of Nachou village.

UNI NS KK MIR AS1838

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