Imphal: On Friday, terrorists posing as security officers opened fire on a village in Manipur's Imphal West district, killing three and wounding two, officials said. The villagers had been lured out of their houses under the guise of a combing operation.
The incident happened in Khoken village, which is located on the boundary between Kangpoki and Imphal West districts.
Officials have speculated that the militants hail from the Meitei ethnic group.
When patrolling security officers heard gunfire, they immediately responded.
The insurgents escaped after killing three locals with their firearms, officials added.
Assam Rifles located the bodies.
The Manipur Police, the Assam Rifles, and the Army all worked together to launch a search operation later.
On May 3, a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was held in Manipur's hill regions in response to the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) classification, sparking violent clashes throughout the state.
There had been a string of smaller agitations leading up to the violence, all of which had their roots in the eviction of Kuki villages from reserve forest territory.
Meiteis make up around 53% of Manipur's population and are concentrated in the region around Imphal. Forty percent of the people that call the hill districts home are tribal people like the Nagas and Kukis.
Over 100 people were killed in the ethnic riots, and it took the deployment of over 10,000 army and paramilitary soldiers to restore peace and security in the state located in the country's northeast.—Inputs from Agencies