At least three people were shot dead in two separate incidents of violence in Manipur on Friday morning.

While two persons belonging to the Kuki-Zo community were killed during a gunfight along the boundary of the Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts, one person from the Meitei community died in Bishnupur.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between the Kuki and Meitei communities since May 3. Widespread incidents of violence and arson continue to deepen the crisis in the state. Over 140 people have been killed and nearly 60,000 have been forced to flee their homes.

In the first incident on Friday morning, an exchange of fire took place between Meitei and Kuki village volunteers between 12.30 am and 3 am at Phoisanphai in Churachandpur and the adjoining Wangleikei area in Bishnupur district.

“Two village volunteers were killed and two were injured due to exchange of fire between the two armed volunteers of Churachandpur and Bishnupur side,” a senior police officer told Scroll.

In Bishnupur, Kuki groups attacked the Meitei-dominant Phougakchao village along the Imphal-Churachandpur National Highway at around 1 am.

Bishnupur Deputy Commissioner Lourembam Bikram told Scroll that the attack was unprovoked.

“Around 200 heavily armed Kuki miscreants attacked Phougakchao Ithai at 1.45 am,” Bikram said. “They were successfully repulsed by security personnel, but during the cross-firing, one 19-year-old youth died,” Bikram said.