Imphal: At least five separatists were killed in a gun battle with security forces early Friday in Manipur, police said.
The gun fight, between a group of unidentified militants and the paramilitary Assam Rifles, began around 2 a.m at Deru Khunou village in Chandel district, about 70 km south of state capital Imphal.
"Based on specific information, Assam Rifles troopers conducted a raid and soon there was a fierce gun fight between the two sides lasting about three hours," police officer A. Singh said.
Security forces later recovered two AK-56 rifles, three M-16 rifles, besides wireless sets and ammunition from the dead rebels.
"The militants were on a specific mission to launch violent strikes in the area," the official said.
"We believe at least two to three other rebels might have escaped under the cover of darkness," he said.
There are an estimated 20 militant groups active in Manipur with demands ranging from secession to autonomy.
More than 10,000 people have lost their lives in the past two decades to insurgency in Manipur, a state of 2.4 million people, bordering Myanmar.