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Two villagers killed in Manipur crossfire

IANS | Imphal/Kolkata  |

Two villagers in Manipur's Churachandpur district were killed in cross-fire when militants ambushed security personnel near the international border on Saturday, police said.

The militants also kidnapped four workers from the spot in Behang, a tribal village.

According to the police, the security personnel, escorting a water tanker for the camp, were fired upon by the militants and retaliated. The two tribal villagers were strolling there when they were caught in the cross-fire.

Additional forces have been rushed from the district headquarters. However there is no report of any arrest so far.

Police said that one IED had been exploded there on Friday. However there was no casualty.

A defence ministry spokesman said in Kolkata that 10- 15 militants, suspected to be members of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), attacked the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) water bowser.

The spokesman said the two deceased were unarmed labourers working on Imphal-Tiddim road.

The incident happened around 8.35 a.m. near Border Pillar 41 along the India-Myammar border.

The militants detonated three Improvised Explosive Devices and then used 'lathods' (single shot grenade launchers) and fired from automatic weapons.

"It is estimated that 60-65 rounds were fired by the terrorists. The terrorists are suspected to have fled across the border," the spokesman said.