Polling official, trooper wounded in poll-eve Manipur blasts

Imphal, March 7 (IANS) A polling official and an Assam Rifles trooper were wounded in two bomb blasts by militants near the India-Myanmar border in Kamjong district of Manipur on Tuesday evening, the state police said.

Kamjong will vote in the second and final phase of the assembly elections in the northeastern state on Wednesday.

No underground outfit has so far claimed any responsibility for the two blasts, but police officials said after the blasts the unidentified militants who triggered these escaped.

“One powerful foreign-made bomb exploded at 3.30 p.m. at Aishi village. One personnel of 31 Assam Rifles was wounded,” said a police officer.

The victim, a part of the road-opening party, was evacuated to the Army hospital at Leimakhong in Imphal.

About 30 minutes later, another powerful bomb went off near Ashang Khullen village, not far from the first blast spot, injuring the polling official.

The police said security personnel retaliated after both the blasts, but the unidentified militants escaped in the high mountains.

Highly placed sources said the objective of the blasts was to kill security personnel and snatch their weapons.

The Election commission has ordered for beefed-up security in areas where polls will be held on Wednesday.

While central paramilitary forces are being used to conduct the polls, additional state and central forces have been rushed to the district to track down the militants.