In continuing turf war between rival Naga underground groups, at least 14 people, including a civilian, were on Friday killed in a gunbattle near Dimapur and a mob ransacked an NSCN(IM) Ceasefire Monitoring Cell office there.
Villagers said there was a heavy exchange of fire between two groups of NSCN in the morning at Seithekim-C village about 15 km from Dimapur.
The police, along with villagers, recovered 13 bodies of cadre of GPRN/NSCN (Unification) but did not find any arms on the bodies, which were believed to have been taken away by the rival cadre.
A spokesman of NSCN (Unification) told newsmen that its members, who had gone to ascertain if the rival group had set up any camp in the area, were ambushed by a large group of NSCN(IM).
Later, hundreds of villagers area arrived at Diphupar police station to receive the bodies of the slain militants resulting in halting of traffic on the national highway for hours as the coffins were lined up on the roadside, district officials said.
The infuriated villagers attacked and ransacked the NSCN(IM) Monitoring Cell office at Diphupar, near the town, and set it on fire.
NSCN(IM) activists opened fire to disperse the mob killing a civilian and injuring another, the police said.
Senior civil and police officials rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control but tension prevailed in the entire town leading to early closure of shops, officials said.
Diphupar area has witnessed a series of incidents involving the underground groups in the recent past.
With today's deaths, nearly 40 people, including civilians, were killed in the past two months in and around Dimapur in stepped up factional fighting between the two groups of NSCN.