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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008, 07:50 GMT
'Rebels kill six Indian soldiers'
By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

A separatist group in the Indian state of Manipur claims their fighters have killed at least six Indian soldiers in an attack on an outpost.

The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur told the BBC its fighters used heavy mortars and even light artillery during the assault.

UNLF spokesman Tombi Singh said they targeted a camp of the 24th Battalion Assam Rifles at Minou on Saturday.

But the Indian military said the attack had been repulsed without casualties.

Minou is located in Chandel district on the north-eastern state of Manipur's border with Burma.

"Two of the seven quarters in the Assam Rifles were burnt down after they caught fire following our mortar assault," Mr Singh claimed.

"We also know the six dead soldiers have been taken to [Manipur's state capital] Imphal by helicopters."

'Beaten back'

Mr Singh said the 293rd battalion of the UNLF had carried out the attack on the Assam Rifles outpost.

But military spokesman Rajeev Mishra said the fight had left a few soldiers with only minor injuries, adding: "The attack was successfully beaten back."

Manipur police, however, said at least one Assam Rifles soldier was killed and seven others were injured.

More than 100 UNLF rebels were said to have been involved in the attack on the Assam Rifles outpost.

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