At least four Meitei Muslims were shot dead after a group of armed miscreants attacked them at the Lilong town in Manipur’s Thoubal district on Monday evening, a senior police officer told Scroll.

At least ten others were injured in the attack. The officer-in-charge of Lilong police station, N Tikendra Meitei, said that all those who were killed and injured were Meitei Pangals, or Meitei Muslims.

The attackers allegedly belonged to the state’s majority Meitei community.

The Pangals, who constitute about 8% of Manipur’s population and live around the Imphal valley, have remained neutral in the ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kukis. The conflict has left over 200 dead and 70,000 displaced since May 3.

According to a senior Assam Rifles officer posted in Imphal, Monday’s attack occurred after a group of Meitei armed miscreants went to Lilong in an attempt to extort money from people there.

“But the local people surrounded the Meitiei armed people refusing to pay them and prevented the extortion bid,” the officer told Scroll. “This led to Meitei miscreants opening fire at the local people, resulting in the deaths and many bullet injuries.”

Three of those who died in the attack were identified as Makakmayum (55), Makakmayum Fahad (18) and Makakmayum Apikpa (35), according to Ukhrul Times. Another person’s identity could not be ascertained.

Among the ten persons who were injured, three were minors.

Locals set three vehicles on fire after the attack, reported The Telegraph. A curfew was reimposed in the valley districts of Thoubal, Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching and Bishnupur following this.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, in a video posted on social media, urged the people of the state to maintain peace.

“I express my immense sadness over the killing of innocent people,” Singh said. “We have mobilised police teams to catch the culprits. I fold my hands and appeal to the residents of Lilong to help the government in finding the culprits. I promise that the government will do everything in its power to give justice under the law.”

He also held a meeting of all ministers and ruling party MLAs.