Authorities have issued shoot-at-sight orders in a Manipur town after 11 people were killed and half-a-dozen wounded in violent clashes between two separatist groups belonging to different ethnic communities, officials said on Sunday.
A police spokesman said an indefinite curfew was imposed in Moreh, a town bordering Myanmar some 110 km from state capital Imphal, after five Kuki tribals were killed on Saturday by suspected militants of the outlawed United National Liberation Front (UNLF).
The UNLF is fighting for a separate homeland for the majority Metei community in Manipur.
"Immediately after the incident, suspected Kuki National Army (KNA) rebels attacked and killed six Metei daily wage workers and wounded six more," an official in the state police control here told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Kuki rebels also set ablaze the house of a prominent Metei leader in Moreh.
Police blamed the recent ethnic violence as a clash between the UNLF and the KNA for territorial supremacy in Moreh, one of the biggest commercial towns in Manipur.
The KNA is fighting for an independent homeland for the minority Kuki tribe in Manipur.
"Army and paramilitary troopers have been deployed in strength with shoot-on-sight orders issued to bring the situation under control," the official said.
Army soldiers on Sunday staged flag marches trying to instil a sense of confidence in the town. Police on Saturday burst teargas canisters to disperse thousands of people belonging to the two communities taking to the streets of Moreh to condemn the killings.
"The situation is still very tense, but there were no overnight reports of fresh violence," the official said.
There are 19 rebel groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to autonomy and the right to self-determination. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, during the past two decades.