Manipur bomb explosion toll mounts to 17, 30 injured

October 22nd, 2008 - 9:57 am ICT by IANS  

Imphal, Oct 22 (IANS) Two more people injured in a powerful bomb explosion at the Manipur capital here died overnight, taking the death toll in Tuesday’s evening’s terror attack to 17, officials said Wednesday morning.”The death toll is now 17 and there are about 30 injured, three of them critically,” Imphal Superintendent of Police Radheshyam Singh said.

The blast took place late Tuesday close to a Manipur Police commando complex, which is a residential area in Imphal.

The bomb was kept in a moped fitted with a timer device, the official said.

“Eleven people died on the spot, while six of the injured succumbed to their injuries in different hospitals,” Singh said.

Doctors said three of the 30 injured are in a critical condition.

“The explosion occurred when a large group of people were watching a dice game organised by surrendered militants at two separate places near the blast site,” said Biren Singh, an eyewitness. He survived the attack narrowly.

“Some of the dead bodies were charred and blown beyond recognition,” the witness said. This is by far the biggest bomb attack in Manipur’s capital, a heavily guarded city that has nevertheless seen frequent bomb or grenade attacks.

On Sunday, a bomb exploded close to Chief Minister Ibobi Singh’s residence but there were no casualties. A caller claiming to be a member of the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), a separatist group, said the outfit was behind Sunday’s blast near the Chief Minister’s heavily fortified residence.

No one has claimed responsibility yet for Tuesday’s deadly attack that has set off panic in the city. There are more than 19 militant groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.

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