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Nine rebels 'killed' in Manipur

By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

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The Indian army says it has killed nine separatist rebels in three separate encounters in the country's troubled north-eastern state of Manipur.

Army officials said the rebels belonged to two different groups.

Six of those belonged to the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak) and three were members of the Kanglei Yana Kan Lup (KYKL).

Manipur is home to nearly a dozen rebel groups - some fighting for the state's independence from India.

Others are fighting for tribal homeland they want carved out of the state.

Officials said the army raided two Prepak hideouts near the remote villages of Singheu and Laiboldung in Manipur's eastern Chandel district .

"After encircling the Prepak hideouts late at night, the army attacked at first light. The rebels were taken by surprised and many were killed," military spokesman RK Palta said.

He said another military platoon launched a similar attack on a Kykl base at Chirikhunao in the state's central district of Thoubal .

The army says that troops have now fanned out around these bases to hunt down other rebels who fled after the encounters, leaving their dead comrades behind.

Mr Palta said that some weapons and large quantity of ammunitions and explosives were recovered from the sites of the encounters.



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