Patil asks Manipur govt to apprehend culprits behind blast

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) The Centre has asked the Manipur Government to make adequate security measures to tackle the threat of militants in view of the blast near Imphal last evening that claimed six lives and left 12 others injured.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil strongly condemned the blast and hoped the state government would take steps to bring culprits to book and prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

Mr Patil, in a statement, conveyed his sympathies to the kin of those killed and prayed for a speedy recovery of those injured in the blast.

''Such desperate acts by anti-national elements will not help them in any manner and will only isolate them further. I am confident that the State Government will take all steps to avoid a recurrence of such incidents and bring the culprits to book,'' the Home Minister said.

A bus was moving on the Paorabi road when a bomb planted by unidentified people exploded, damaging the bus and killing six people while about 12 others, including six women, were seriously injured.

The blast was apparently carried out with the help of an Improvised Explosive Device, but there were conflicting reports whether it was in the bus or on the road.

The ministry has sought details of the incident from the state government. It has been regularly reviewing the security situation in the state recently and asked the state government to take adequate security measures in view of threat from militants.

Admitting a spurt in militant violence in Manipur and Assam recently, the Home Ministry sources said they have impressed upon the state government the need for proper policing.

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