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Blast in Manipur Kills At Least 5 People, 20 Others Suffer Injuries

BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent

Guwahati: A minimum of five people lost their lives in a bomb blast yesterday in a market place in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, which has been plagued for decades by separatist militants, the police said.

Twenty others were injured in the explosion, which took place on the outskirts of state capital Imphal.

“The bomb was probably planted on a parked scooter and was of high intensity,” said Manipur Police Chief Y Joykumar Singh.

“So far five people have been killed and about 20 injured. The injured have been shifted to local hospitals with multiple wounds.”

The remote state bordering Myanmar has long been affected by insurgent violence and is home to dozens of tribal groups and small guerrilla armies that resist rule from New Delhi and often compete against each other.

The market was teeming with people when the explosion happened and most of the victims were either shoppers or vendors, Singh said.

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

The police suspect the explosion could be a part of a rebel offensive ahead of India’s Independence Day celebrations on August 15.

The rebels have called for a boycott of national day celebrations, accusing New Delhi of exploiting their region.

Militant groups in Manipur and most of the northeastern states have long boycotted Independence or Republic Day celebrations, targeting security forces and vital installations in the run-up to such national events.

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