Three rebels killed in Manipur, 43 militants surrender in Assam

February 28th, 2009 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Feb 28 (IANS) Three guerrillas were killed in separate shooutouts with security forces in Manipur, as 43 militants surrendered before authorities in the adjoining state of Assam, officials Saturday said.
A police spokesman said two militants of the outlawed Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) were killed in a gun battle with troopers of the paramilitary Assam Rifles late Friday near village Lamlong, about 20 km east of Manipur’s capital Imphal.

“The militants opened indiscriminate fire on the Assam Rifles troopers and in retaliatory fire, two KCP rebels were gunned down,” police official A. Singh said.

Security forces recovered a pistol and two grenades from the dead militants.

Police commandos shot dead an unidentified militant in another gun fire in an adjoining village.

The KCP is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in Manipur, a state bordering Myanmar where some 19 rebel groups are seeking secession or greater autonomy.

Meanwhile, in a major setback to the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), 32 senior leaders of the outfit surrendered before army authorities in Assam.

The surrender ceremony held Saturday at an army base in Rangiya, 70 km from Assam’s main city of Guwahati, also saw 11 other militants from smaller rebel groups of the state joining the mainstream.

“The 32 ULFA rebels who laid down arms decided to join the mainstream as they were frustrated with life in the jungles and totally disillusioned by the attitude of the outfit’s top leadership,” an army commander said.

The rebels handed over a large cache of weapons and explosives.

The ULFA is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland in Assam since 1979.

More than 20,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam and Manipur during the past two decades.

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