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Four militants killed in Manipur
Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 16:
Published on 17 Mar. 2009 1:35 AM IST
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At least four suspected militants were killed by security forces Sunday night in two separate militancy related incidents, taking the toll of militants killed during the five days of Yaosang festival to seven. At least seven people including four women were killed in separate shootouts that occurred at night during Yaosang festival last year (2008). Out of the four suspects, three were gunned down by troops of 31 Assam Rifles near the Indo-Myanmar border pillar no. 81 some 7 km north east from Moreh police station Sunday at around 6 pm. AR authorities while handing over the dead bodies to Moreh police on Monday claimed that they were killed during a gunfight at the international border. They also recovered a 9 mm pistol and one .32 pistol (country made) with magazines and live ammunitions, a lathod gun with one shell. In a separate incident, Imphal west police commandos also gunned down another suspected militant Sunday night at around 8.20 pm somewhere between Langol Game and Iroishemba Zoological Garden. Police said a 9 mm pistol with five rounds of ammunition was recovered from the slain suspect. The suspect was later identified as Akoijam Priyobarta (25) son Rajen of Mongsangei Mayai Leikai, Imphal west. According to the family of the slain suspect, he went out from home on Sunday evening at around 4 pm. The dead body has been lying at RIMS morgue as the family refused to receive the dead body alleging that he was killed after being picked up by security forces. With 15 killed since the beginning of March this year which included two civilians, at least 92 people have been killed in militancy related incidents in the last three months from January 1, 2009, according to data sheet maintained by the Union ministry home affairs. It is pertinent to mention that with 499 killed in militancy related fatalities; Manipur is next to Assam with highest number of people killed during 2008. The State registered 388 fatalities in 584 insurgency-related incidents in 2007, according to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). MHA data indicates that year 2008 saw 465 such incidents, claiming the lives of 314 persons till August 31. According to SATP database, another 185 persons, including 40 civilians, four Security Force (SF) personnel and 141 militants, were killed in the subsequent four months yielding a provisional total of 499 fatalities in the year, including 136 civilians, 16 SF personnel and 347 insurgents.

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