Two Assam Rifles troopers and a civilian were killed and six others were seriously wounded Friday in a powerful blast of an improvised explosive device (IED) in Manipur's Chandel district, a police official said.
Four Assam Rifles troopers and two women were seriously injured in the blast at Kawatha Khunou area bordering Myanmar, Manipur Director General of Police Y. Joykumar Singh told IANS.
The wounded have been rushed to a hospital in Imphal.
At least five to six IEDs planted along the Imphal-Moreh road exploded while the troopers were on a routine patrol, an Assam Rifles official said.
He said there was also an exchange of fire between the troopers and the rebels after the first explosion before the rebels retreated into the forest.
No arrests had been made so far, the police chief added.
Earlier, the outlawed Revolutionary People's Front's (RPF) spokesman Taohangsu Heiremcha said its armed wing would continue to launch more attacks on the security forces in the state.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed wing of the powerful separatist RPF, which is fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in Manipur for over three decades.
The PLA has planted bombs in strategic places to attack security forces, Heiremcha warned.
Security forces have launched a massive combing operation in the area to nab the rebels who carried out the explosion.
Meanwhile, security forces arrested seven rebels in Imphal Thursday night and seized six detonators from them.
Of the seven rebels, police said six are members of the outlawed People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK). The other rebel is a member of the proscribed PLA.
There are more than 20 rebel outfits in Manipur with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.