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Indian PM escapes bomb plot (BBC Ne
- Subject: Indian PM escapes bomb plot (BBC Ne
- From: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 08:04:00
Subject: Indian PM escapes bomb plot (BBC News)
World: South Asia (BBC News)
Indian PM escapes bomb plot
The bomb went off in Imphal just before the prime minister's
The Indian prime minister had a narrow escape when
authorities discovered a powerful time bomb at an
airport, minutes before his plane was due to land.
The bomb was discovered outside the airport in Imphal,
the capital of Manipur state.
It was placed on the route the prime minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee's convoy was to have taken into the city.
Our correspondent in Calcutta, Subir Bhaumik, says the
discovery created panic in Imphal because it closely
followed an explosion a few hours earlier in the central
district of Bishenpur.
The explosion missed an army convoy but damaged a
bridge on the convoy route. Shots were exchanged
between soldiers and rebels, but no-one was injured.
A rebel coalition, the Manipur People's Liberation front,
claimed responsibility for both attacks. It is a group
comprising three separatist organisations fighting for the
state's independence from India.
Correspondents say there are up to seven separatist
groups operating in Manipur, a remote state on the
The rebels had called on the
local community to boycott
all official ceremonies
organised around Mr
Vajpayee's visit, to draw
attention to atrocities
allegedly committed by
Indian security forces during
India has a heavy army and
paramilitary presence in the
region and reports say that
security was tight during the visit.
Thousands of people are reported to have died in
separatist campaigns in Manipur, a former princely state
which merged with India exactly 50 years ago.
Manipur has also witnessed violence between ethnic
communities within the state, leading to tribal clashes
and killings. Illicit drug smuggling and gun-running trades
with Burma are a growing feature in the region.