x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Crude bomb blast wounds 6 in India; 4 men abducted

GAUHATI, India // A crude bomb exploded on Saturday in India’s north-east, wounding at least six people, and authorities searched for four Muslim traders believed to be abducted by a rebel group in the region.

The improvised device went off near the Manipur University complex in Imphal, the capital of Manipur state.

A police officer said that five of the wounded were being treated in a hospital.

Two of them were in critical condition.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. More than a dozen separatist groups are active in Manipur state and often stage hit-and-run attacks.

The rebels claim the local population is ignored by the federal government in New Delhi. Most locals are ethnically closer to groups in Myanmar and China than to the rest of India.

Meanwhile, authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in parts of Baksa district in neighbouring Assam state after four Muslim traders were believed abducted by a rebel group, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, said police

In May, 45 people were killed in Baksa district, where police said gunmen from the Bodo tribe, which has long accused Muslims of entering India illegally from Bangladesh, went on a rampage, setting Muslim homes ablaze and firing indiscriminately at civilians.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland has been fighting for a separate homeland for the ethnic Bodo people for decades.

* Associated Press