Eight migrant workers killed in Manipur

March 18th, 2008 - 11:40 am ICT by admin  

Imphal, March 18 (IANS) Eight migrant workers were killed by insurgents in Manipur in two separate incidents, officials said Tuesday. A police spokesman said seven people were shot dead late Monday on a roadside near Mayai Lambi on the outskirts of Imphal.

“The seven people were brought in a van and then were lined up by the roadside with their hands tied to their back and were shot dead from close range with automatic weapons,” K. Tomba Singh, a police official, told IANS.

In another incident a few kilometres away from Mayai Lambi, militants shot dead one more person under similar circumstances.

“All those killed were non-Manipuri people and we suspect them to be Hindi-speakers, although their identities were not known so far as nobody has come to claim their bodies,” Singh said.

“The victims could possibly be traders or even daily wage workers. Investigations are on.”

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is the first time in Manipur that militants targeted Hindi-speakers.

“We don’t know yet as to the motive behind the killings,” the official said.

In the adjoining state of Assam, militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) have since long been engaged in a systematic attack on Hindi-speaking migrant workers, killing up to 200 people in the last five years.

There are 19 militant groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.

A number of militant groups have bases in Myanmar with the state of 2.4 million people sharing an unfenced border with the junta ruled country.

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