IMPHAL, November 26: At least one cadre of the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) was killed in yet another fierce gun battle with the NSCN-IM this afternoon, at a spot near Noney under Tamenglong district.
Sources said that the encounter took place at around 12.30 pm at Haochongpung, which lies between Lukhambi and Nagaching, under Tamenglong Police station and about 45 km on the south east.
Around 20 cadres of ZUF were camping at the area when they were reportedly ambushed by over 30 well-armed NSCN-IM cadres. The exchange lasted for over an hour during which the cadre of ZUF was killed.
The deceased cadre has been identified as Milepou Gangmei, 16, son of Champoulung Gangmei of Namhainamchi.
Meanwhile, police sources said that another cadre of ZUF was also injured in the gun fight, sustaining a bullet injury in his abdomen.
Police has evacuated the injured to Imphal for medical attention, sources said.
This is the second gun fight between the two rival Naga outfits this month. The last clash took place on November 13 at Chalok part II in Tamenglong wherein three cadres of the ZUF were killed.
Meanwhile, NNN reported that according to the NSCN-IM source, the cadres of ZUF were camping in the hill-top near Lukhambi (Khumji) village in the past few days. On learning about the news, the NSCN-IM cadres launched an attack today around 2:30 pm killing the cadre of ZUF. The deceased was said to be from Nagaland`s Peren district, according to the NSCN-IM. The Naga outfit also claimed that one AK-47 rifle, a pair of night vision binoculars and a wireless set have been recovered from the site, the report continued.
Further according to the NNN report, the ZUF information secretary, A Dangmei has said that his outfit has been tested to the limit by the NSCN-IM.
“We will, from now on do what is needed,” said A Dangmei, warning that ZUF will run after the NSCN-IM cadres, reported the Newmai News Network.
A Dangmei said the ZUF cadres have been confining in secluded places these days so that no provocations are encountered during this festive season. “Following the appeals from several civil society organisations to shun violence during Christmas season, we have obliged to this public appeals since the voice of the people is the voice of God but the NSCN-IM is continuing provocking us,” said A Dangmei.
Narrating on today`s incident, the ZUF leader said the NSCN-IM cadres attacked the resting ZUF cadres near Lukhambi Part-1 village. “We retaliated to the attack and there have been possibilities scores were injured on the other side,” claimed A Dangmei, according to the NNN report.