Seven separatists were killed in a pre-dawn encounter with security forces on Sunday in Manipur, police said.
A police spokesperson said the encounter took place between a group of heavily armed militants and a column of the paramilitary Assam Rifles near village Sanapat in Imphal East district, about 30 km southeast of Manipur's capital Imphal.
"Based on hard intelligence, an Assam Rifles column went to the area for an anti-insurgency operation when they came under attack from the militants with automatic weapons," the police officer said.
The Assam Rifles troopers retaliated and the encounter lasted for close to an hour in which seven militants were killed.
"Maybe, a few of them might have escaped under the cover of darkness," the officer said.
A huge cache of explosives and weapons, including rifles, carbines, and small arms, was recovered from the dead militants.
The identity of the militants was not established as yet.
"The process of identification is on although we are not sure as to which group they belong to," the officer said.
There are some 20 militant groups active in Manipur, a state of 2.4 million people bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.
More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Manipur during the past two decades.