| Police personnel inspect the bomb blast site at Gari Makha Leikai near Airport Road in Imphal on Wednesday. (PTI) |
Imphal, Nov. 7: Two army personnel and three civilians, including a student, were injured when a powerful improvised explosive device was detonated on a busy stretch of the Imphal Airport Road this morning.
No rebel group, however, has claimed responsibility for the blast, which is the fourth in the area in the past two months.
Police said the IED, planted on the median of the road, 5km from here, exploded as a four-vehicle convoy of the airport army unit was coming towards Imphal to fetch water. Two of the vehicles were water tankers. The blast also impacted a schoolbus that was passing by at the time.
The driver of one of the tankers and a jawan sitting beside him sustained injuries, while the tanker’s front was damaged and it had to be towed back to the post.
One civilian van driver, M. Raghubir Singh, and a woman, K. Shanty Devi, travelling with him sustained splinter injuries. The van was headed towards the airport.
A Class XII student of Comet Higher Secondary School, Pukhrambam Rohen, who was travelling in the schoolbus, also sustained minor injuries.
The police said the bomb was remote-detonated, adding that traffic was heavy along the road at the time.
Frequent bomb explosions in the area have created panic among residents.
“I heard a loud sound. I thought a vehicle tyre had burst. I came to know that there had been a bomb blast only when an elderly woman came to my house saying there had been an explosion and she had been injured in the leg,” Wahengbam Iboton, a resident of the area, said.
The bomb exploded in front of Iboton’s house. “My children had just left for school when the blast took place. Frequent bomb explosions in our area have created a fear psychosis among the residents. We are worried that our children might get hurt in a blast. Such things must stop,” he said.
Though army and police personnel combed the area after the blast, no other explosives were recovered and no one was arrested.
Around 30 minutes after this blast, another IED exploded at Khongjom along Imphal-Moreh road in Thoubal district. No one, however, was injured in thaat incident.
A police source said an Assam Rifles patrol party recovered yet another IED at Th-oubal Wangbal in Thoubal district and safely detonated it later.