TODAY -
Death toll in Loktak Ops rises to seven
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, April 13 2009: With one more militant killed in an exchange of gunfire and the recovery of five more dead bodies today, at least seven militants have so far been killed in the ongoing Operation Summer Storm at Loktak which began at midnight of April 11.However, one corpse of the slain militants is yet to be recovered.

According to a PIB (Defence Wing) release, one underground cadre was killed this evening around 6 when three-four militants tried to escape in Khordak area.

The Army source said that the cadre was killed when the Army retaliated to the fires of the militants who opened fire on being challenged by the Army.

The PIB (DW) further said that the other cadres tried to escape using a lady and a child as human shield.

On seeing that the troops stopped firing and permitted the undergrounds to escape, it said.

Subsequently, the lady with her infant was apprehended and escorted to a relatively safer area and handed over to Kumbi Police Station, the PIB(DW) claims.

It then added that the lady identified herself as the wife of SS Sergeant Major Sureshkumar of PREPAK.

One AK-56 rifle, one German made 9mm Mouser Gun, and one 9mm pistol were also recovered along with some ammo, the Army release claims.

The Red Shield troops have also destroyed another camp, which consist of three big huts, in Chingmaipat area around 5pm today, according to the PIB (DW) statement.

It maintained that a total of five camps of PREPAK have been destroyed thus far.

It is also learnt that the undergrounds who managed to escape are seriously injured, the Army release asserts.

The Operation is still in progress to flush out the undergrounds trapped inside the camp.

With the safe sanctuary having been denied, PREPAK's design to disturb the election process has been thwarted to a great extent, the PIB (DW) statement reads.

Meanwhile, speaking to Hueiyen Lanpao, PRO of the Army Col Rajesh Mishra said that three underground cadres were killed early this morning at Nongmaikhong area in an encounter while two others were killed around 3pm.Another cadre was killed in an encounter around 6 at Khordak area while another cadre was slain on April 12 .

It may be mentioned that the Operation Summer Storm has been launched by the troops under the Red Shield Division including the 4/8 GR, 12MLI, 21 Para Regiment, and 7 AR.

An Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV), motor boats and local boats have been used to assist the Army in the operation.

At the same time, several civil society organisations of Keibul Lamjao area have convened a meeting today at the Young Ideal Club ground, Keibul Lamjao to appeal the concerned authority to stop the operation in the interest of the rare Sangais.

The meeting was attended by Kumbi Meira Paibee Apunba Lup, Chingai Keibul Lamjao Social Development Organisation, YICCL, Keibul Makha Leikai, SESCO, Keibul, Vision Social Development Association, Keibul Lamjao, ROSCAR, Keibul Sapram and Keibul Lamjao Forest Guard.


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