17 killed in bomb blast in Imphal

21 10 2008

PIC Source: AFP
Indian paramilitary soldiers examine the wreckage of a motorcycle in which they believe explosives were hidden
Watch the video

Source: IBN LIVE and AFP
New Delhi: At least 17 people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a bomb blast near Khuman Lapak Sports Stadium in Imphal (Manipur) on Tuesday evening. The blast took place at around 1915 hrs IST.

Initial reports say the blast was triggered by an an improvised explosive device (IED), which was placed in a Luna moped. All the injured have been taken to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal where the condition of six people is stated to be serious.

Director General of Police, Manipur, Y Joykumar Singh confirmed to CNN-IBN that at least 17 people have been killed in the blast. A bomb had also exploded on Sunday night near Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh’s official residence. Militant outfit People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) claimed responsibility for the blast near the Chief Minister’s residence.
Indian troops and the police sealed off Imphal’s borders with adjoining towns and launched a manhunt for the bombers, officials said.
The blast came two days after unknown guerrillas carried out a grenade attack outside the fortified home of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh also in Imphal city. No one was injured in that explosion.
No one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack, but 19 rebel groups in Manipur are spearheading separate campaigns pressing for changes ranging from homelands for tribal groups to the repeal of a draconian anti-terror law.
“Today’s attacks appear to be the handiwork of a tribal (militant) group which we are jointly targeting,” a senior police official said from the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh, without elaborating.
Earlier this month, five people were injured in an explosion during a Hindu festival in Guwahati, the largest city in Assam state which adjoins Manipur. At least 50,000 people have lost their lives in insurgency-driven violence in six of India’s seven northeastern states since the country’s independence from the British in 1947. The militants say the northeast has been largely neglected by India’s political leaders, accusing them of focusing only on the development of the country’s relatively-wealthier eight northern states.
A steady infiltration of migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh is another major cause of friction between ethnic tribal groups and Muslim settlers from across the two nations’ porous borders, analysts say.



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