A Manipur Police commando was killed today in an attack in the border town Moreh, 110 km from the state capital Imphal. Firing has been going on since morning, government sources said.

According to reports, the attackers today threw bombs and fired at a security post near Moreh. Moreh is a key trading town on the India-Myanmar border.

Police said the attackers also fired RPG shells at the temporary commando post damaging several vehicles parked in the vicinity.

The commando who died was identified as Wangkhem Somorjit an IRB personnel attached to state police commando in Moreh. Somorjit hails from Malom in Imphal West district.

The fresh violence comes amid massive protests by Kuki groups after police arresed two tribals for involvement in the killing of a police officer.

A video of the clash shows armed attackers pushing back a security truck as it tries to enter Moreh.

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Earlier, following inputs of “likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance of public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and property within the revenue jurisdiction of Tengnoupal”, the Manipur government imposed a total curfew from 12 am on January 16.

The order by District Magistrate Tengnoupal stated that the curfew shall, however, not apply to “agencies of the government employed in the enforcement of law and order and maintenance of essential services”.

Police had arrested Phillip Khongsai and Hemokholal Mate, the two main suspects in the killing of SDPO Ch Anand in October last year. The two had fired at the vehicles of the security personnel following which police chased and overpowered them.

Moreh-based civil bodies including Kuki Inpi Tengnoupal had vehemently condemned the arrest.

The Kuki tribes have asked the Centre to remove the state police from Moreh and keep only central forces. They have alleged the police of attacking Kuki civilians. The Manipur Police have refuted the allegations and said those attacking the state police commandos were hill-based insurgents.

Over 180 have died and thousands have been internally displaced in the Manipur violence that began on May 3, 2023.