Manipur chief minister escapes assassination bid

September 2nd, 2008 - 12:58 am ICT by IANS  

Imphal, Sep 1 (IANS) Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh escaped an assassination bid late Monday when a bomb fired by suspected militants exploded inside his official residential complex here, officials said.A police spokesman said a bomb was fired late Monday and it exploded inside the boundary wall of the chief minister’s residence.

“The bomb landed inside the chief minister’s residential complex and damaged a private temple. Singh was present in his residence when the explosion took place,” a senior police official said requesting anonymity.

The People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A PREPAK leader telephoned local newspaper offices to own up the attack.

Police and paramilitary troopers have since launched a massive combing operation in the area.

“All entry and exit routes have been sealed and efforts are being made to track down the rebels,” the official said.

The chief minister has escaped two other assassination attempts during the past four years.

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

A number of militant groups have bases in Myanmar with Manipur sharing an unfenced border with the junta ruled country.

More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Manipur during the past two decades.

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