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Blast kils 17 in north-east India

The death toll from a bomb explosion outside a police training centre in remote north-east India has risen to 17.

The Manipur state chief minister Ibobi Singh, left, visits a blast victim at a hospital in Imphal.
The Manipur state chief minister Ibobi Singh, left, visits a blast victim at a hospital in Imphal.

GAUHATI // The death toll from a bomb explosion outside a police training centre in remote north-east India has risen to 17 after three more wounded succumbed to their injuries overnight, police said today. The number of wounded in last night's blast in Imphal, the capital of Manipur state, also rose to 23 after police received more details from hospitals, said Joykumar Singh, the state's director general of police. The bomb was apparently planted on a motorcycle, said city police superintendent Radheshyam, who goes by just one name. No one claimed responsibility for the blast, Mr Singh said. The centre, which is used by police commandos, is located in a residential neighbourhood, he said. Sarat Chandra, a local television reporter who had been at the scene of the blast last night had described it as "ghastly". "Limbs and other body parts are strewn all over the place," he said. Dozens of militant separatist groups are active in India's north-east, an isolated region wedged between Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Myanmar with only a thin corridor connecting it to the rest of India. Yesterday's bomb attack was the biggest in Imphal in recent times, although the city has been witness to frequent bomb and grenade attacks on government ministers and other government targets. The separatists accuse the central government in New Delhi, 1,600km to the west, of exploiting the region's natural resources while doing little for the indigenous people - most of whom are ethnically closer to Burma and China than to the rest of India. More than 10,000 people have died in separatist violence over the past decade in the region.

*AP