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Three hurt in Imphal blast

Imphal, Nov. 17: Three persons were injured as suspected militants triggered two bomb blasts in the city today.

Sikander, 30, the owner of a hardware store, and two of his salesmen, Lakshmi Shah and Athokpam Babudhon, sustained splinter injuries when a hand grenade hurled by two scooter-borne persons into Sudhir Iron Store at Hatta Golapati here at 1.15 this afternoon exploded.

The three, who were inside the shop when the grenade exploded, are undergoing treatment at a nearby private clinic. Doctors said they were out of danger. Sikander and Lakshmi hail from Bihar while Babudhon hails from Keishampat in Imphal.

An eyewitness, I.R. Khan, said he was in front of the shop when one of two scooter-borne persons hurled something towards the shop and suddenly something exploded.

Firoz, a local resident, said people residing and working in the marketplace were struck with panic after the incident. I request the attackers not to repeat such acts in crowded areas, he said.

The police believe the attack is linked to an extortion demand from the shop owner.

In the second incident, an IED exploded near Yairipok police station this morning. No one was injured in the blast. Police suspect militants triggered the explosion.

Yesterday, a blast had been triggered near a petrol pump in Thoubal bazar, 50km from here.

Dimapur farm expo: Diplomats from four Southeast Asian countries today visited the ongoing Northeast Agri Expo at 4th Mile in Dimapur.

The visitors included ambassador of Thailand Pisan Manawapat, ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Thanh Tan, ambassador of Lao PDR Thongphanh Syackhaphom and high commissioner of Malaysia Dato Tan Seng Sung.

They visited the stalls at the expo and stressed on the need to promote trade and commerce between ASEAN nations and the Northeast in line with the Look East policy.