Manipur highway cut off after IED blast

Imphal, April 24 (UNI) A main highway bridge in Manipur was badly damaged when an Improvised Explosive Device exploded at Kangpokpi district on Wednesday. Movement on the Imphal-Mao highway was completely stopped and some 200 vehicles on either side of the bridge left stranded, police said.

As per the police, the blast made about three holes in the bridge. Since May 3, 2023, the highway had been blocked by various Kuki organizations and movement of Meitei people had been stopped. It was not yet known who was involved in the blast.

The blast occurred just days ahead of the April 26 second phase Lok Sabha elections in the ethnic-violence affected state.

Movement on Imphal to Jiribam highway had also been disturbed after suspected Kuki militants fired at oil tankers at Tamenglong on April 16.

After the crisis in Manipur started in May 2023 the blast at Kangpokpi was the second incident of bomb blast targeted to stop movement of vehicles and people.

On June 21, 2023, suspected Kuki militants had used a powerful IED at a bridge at Kwakta, Bishnupur district in which three persons sustained injuries. The matter was taken up by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the main conspirator was identified as Seiminlun Gangte who worked with one Mohammed Noor Hussain to carry out the blast.

Gangte had allegedly planted a bomb in a four wheeler which was driven by Hussain. They were charged under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Explosive Substances Act 1908, and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.

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