NEW DELHI, Dec. 5: Fresh violence in the northeastern state of Manipur Monday killed 13 people, multiple local media reports said.
The bodies were recovered by paramilitary Assam Rifles who launched a search operation after receiving intelligence information about a firefight in Leithu area of Tengnoupal district, about 60 km southeast of Manipur, the capital city of Imphal.
"Once our forces moved in and reached the place, they found 13 bodies in the Leithu village. The forces did not find any weapons next to the bodies," a local newspaper Hindustan Times quoted an officer as having said.
Manipur has been on edge since May 3 when large-scale violence broke out in the state during a tribal protest over the inclusion of the non-tribal Meiteis community for a scheduled tribe status designated for disadvantaged socio-economic groups, which gives them reservations in education and government jobs.
The ethnic clashes between the majority Meitei group and the tribal Kuki minority have displaced 60,000. The mobs in the state resorted to vandalism and arson targeting houses and shops.
As per figures released by police in mid-September, 175 people have been killed, 1,118 injured and 33 reported missing since May 3.