Four suspected militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces near Manipur’s Hingojang village on Sunday, the defence ministry’s public relations officer in Imphal said.

The militants belonged to the Kuki National Liberation Army, an insurgent group, The Indian Express reported.

The Assam Rifles and the Indian Army had launched a search operation in the area on Saturday after receiving information about a militant group having set up a camp there, according to the newspaper. A team of police officers from Maphou Dam also reportedly joined the operation, according to the Hindustan Times.

During the operation, the security forces found 12 armed men, and this led to a “chance encounter”, Lieutenant Colonel Mohit Vaishnava, public relations officer (defence wing), told The Indian Express.

Four armed men were killed in the gunfight, while the rest of them escaped, the official added.

The security forces recovered rifles from the site of the gunfight, The Indian Express reported.