The Indian army has killed 33 militants in the northeastern state of Manipur in recent days. The leader of the state has made this known to journalists. Riots broke out between ethnic groups in Manipur this month.
Chief minister Nongthumbam Biren Singh did not say how many soldiers were killed or injured. Helicopters are also used in the ongoing offensive against armed groups. “We are trying to find the militants who are attacking civilians,” Biren said.
Thousands of soldiers deployed
Dozens of people have been killed in the riots in recent weeks. Hundreds are estimated to have been injured. The Indian government has deployed thousands of military and paramilitary personnel to restore order. Manipur is a remote region bordering civil war-ravaged Myanmar.
The violence started on May 3. On that day, various ethnic minorities clashed with the predominantly Hindu Meitei community, which forms the ethnic majority of the state. Tensions erupted after a verdict by the regional high court.
The court had urged the regional government to quickly grant the Meitei tribal status. Such an award would provide community members with benefits such as reserved government jobs and access to healthcare and universities. But dozens of other ethnic groups believe the Meitei already hold too much power for such benefits.
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