IMPHAL, October 8: Atleast five NSCN (IM) cadres including a sergeant major of the outfit and a Shaktiman driver were killed while another four NSCN (IM) cadres were seriously injured in an ambush set up by heavily armed suspected Zeliangrong United Front cadres late yesterday evening at Laishok village near Leimatak under Khaupum police station bordering Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts, said sources.
According to a reliable source, the NSCN (IM) cadres who were coming towards Khoupum village from Laishok village on a Shaktiman truck driven by a civilian were way laid by the heavily armed ZUF cadres at around 7:30pm late yesterday evening near at Laishok village.
On being attacked, the NSCN (IM) cadres also retaliated. The ensuing gunfight continued for more than three hours, and left five of the NSCN (IM) cadres including a sergeant major along with the driver of the truck on which they were traveling and another four seriously injured. The five dead NSCN (IM) cadre have been identified as st mj Sareingam of Seijang village, Kadul Maring of Langol Chandel district, Rd Punkhi Anal of Tamathel Chandel, Albert of Pheibung village, Senapati and Hingba of Maram Khullen Senapati while the dead driver has been identified as Nanao Tarao of Pallel.
Meanwhile, a source has informed that their could also be casualties amongst the ZUF cadres; however it could not be ascertained till the filing of this report.
Another source has revealed that Khoupum police have already reached the incident spot and taken into custody the dead bodies of the militant cadres and the driver.
However, whereabouts of the four injured persons could not be ascertained.
Meanwhile, Newmai News Network has stated that six NSCN-IM cadres and a civilian were killed in a shoot-out incident with the Zeliangrong Tiger Force (ZTF), the armed wing of the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) in Tamenglong district of Manipur last evening, according to Manipur police.
Further according to the news agency “The ZUF, the militant outfit which was formed few months ago also claimed today that altogether six cadres of the NSCN-IM were killed and injured scores from the latter group including its `brigadier` Sounii Poumai who is reportedly in-charge of three NSCN-IM battalions and one brigade”.
“However, the NSCN-IM, the Zeliangrong Youth Front and Zeliangrong Students Union Manipur claimed that five NSCN-IM cadres and a civilian got killed in the encounter. The dceased have been identified as RD Punsi Anal of Chandel, `Lieutenant` Albert of Phaibung and `private` Hingba of Maram Khullen (Senapati district), `private` Kadun Maring of Langol, `sergeant major` Soreingam of Singya village (Ukhrul district) and Nanao Tarao believed to be a Shatiman driver” further stated NNN.
Further according to the news agency “according to the ZUF, `brigadier` Sounii Poumai takes care of NP Battalion of Tamenglong district, AC Battalion of Chandel district, Pisubung Battalion of Ukhrul district and Hothong Brigade located in Senapati district. The ZUF claimed that bullets had hit the chest of the `brigadier` who is the commander during the operations against the ZUF/ZTF on October 7”.
Meanwhile, the Zeliangrong Youth Front (AMN) and the All Zeliangrong Students’ Union (AMN) has strongly condemned the shooting incident which has killed five NSCN (IM) cadres and a civilian. A joint statement has stated that the Zeliangrong people appeal once again to all armed persons to shun violent activities and killing people in the Zeliangrong areas.