Three militants were killed and three two children were seriously wounded in a five-hour gun battle between cadres of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) and the Zeliangong United Front, in Tamenglong district on Tuesday.

Police sources said that the fierce exchange of fire between the cadres took place at Phailok village in Tamenglong district.

Sophisticated automatic rifles and powerful bombs were used during the encounter. Village elders tried to restrain both the groups using loud speakers. When it failed to dissuade them, villagers fled to safer areas. They have not returned home till Wednesday fearing that there may be fresh exchange of fire.

NSCN (IM) sources said that the cadres of the ZUF attacked one of its camps on Tuesday. One cadre of the NSCN (IM) was hit in the head and he is battling for life in the district hospital.

The killed militants have not yet been identified.

It is reported that their guns were snatched by the NSCN (IM) cadres.

The NSCN(IM) has been engaged in peace process after signing a ceasefire with the Indian government. The ZUF was formed some years back. Police have recovered the dead bodies. The injured ones were evacuated to the hospital. Police and paramilitary forces have rushed

to the troubled areas of the district to maintain law and order.