IMPHAL, May 23: At least three persons including a church secretary were killed in two separate fierce gun battles that took place between combined security forces and suspected cadres of KNF (N) at Bongbal Khullen, Sadar Hills under the jurisdiction of Yairipok Police Staton in Senapati district today.
Sources said the first encounter occurred at around 4.30 am took place between personnel of 2 Assam Rifles and heavily armed suspected KNF (N) cadres. The exchanged of fire between the two sides lasted till 7 am.
There were no reports of casualties on both sides in the firing.
The second encounter took place when a combined team of 21 Para Regiment, 16 AR and 2 AR personnel launched a massive search operation in and around the firing site around 1 pm.
During the search operation, a fierce gun battle erupted between the combined forces and the armed cadres killing three persons including secretary of Hingajang Village Church.
The deceased has been identified as Pualen Khongsai, 40. Identity of the other two deceased could not be ascertained. However, it is said that the two who were labourers working in the area hail from Thoubal district.
A team of police led by Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Yairipok also rushed to the site to help the combined security forces in the encounter.
The dead bodies of the three deceased have been brought to the JNIMS morgue for post mortem at around 9 pm, the sources stated.
Mention may be made that Kuki National Front (Nehlun) is amongst the underground outfits which are not in SoO pact with the government.