Manipur blast kills eight, injures 10

Imphal, Sep 13 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and 13 others injured in a powerful bomb blast Friday in Manipur's Imphal West district, police said.

Police said the deceased were construction labourers working for a Kolkata-based firm. All the deceased and injured were rushed to the Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) in Imphal.

"The blast took place around 7.30 p.m. at Khoyathong area in Imphal. The deceased were engaged in the construction work for last six months and all of them were from different places of the country," police added.

"Preliminary investigation indicated the bomb was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)," police said.

"It was of high intensity and probably planted in a shop," Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) L. Kailun told IANS.

"The injured with multiple wounds were shifted to local hospitals."

"We are yet to identify the group responsible for the blast," he said.

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Top police officials who visited the blast site suspected the involvement of local rebel groups.

Earlier, troopers of the Assam Rifles patrolling along the Ukhrul-Imphal road in Imphal East district had a narrow escape when a powerful IED, planted by the roadside, exploded.

The incident occurred at around 10.30 a.m. near Khurai Popular High School at Khurai Thongam Leikai in Imphal East district.

An auto-rickshaw driver was injured in the incident.

The outlawed People's Liberation Army, an armed wing of Revolutionary People's Front had claimed responsibility for the morning blast.

There are an estimated 19 militant groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.

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