At least two persons, including a woman, were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast by insurgents, which went off behind a busy market place in the state capital here on Tuesday, police said. In an email to news-organisations, the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council has claimed responsibility for the blast ahead of Independence Day celebration.
A shopkeeper, Christine Nongkynrih, an a passer-by who could not be immediqtely identified were injured in the blast and were rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. The 1kg IED, fitted with a timer, went off at around 1:30 pm today. Eyewitnesses said the blast was powerful enough to cause vibrations in nearby buildings and had caused temporary traffic jams in the area.
During preliminary investigation, it is confirmed that the blast was due to the IED. The IED punctured the wall of the shop and shattered several window panes of adjacent buildings, East Khasi Hills district SP S Nongtynger told PTI. He said a case was registered at the Laitumkhrah Police Station and investigation is on in the IED blast that could be heard from as far as New Shillong Township.
Nongtynger rushed to the spot along with bomb squad teams and officials of other agencies both of the state and central government to take stock of the situation. The SP urged citizens not to panic but to report to the police any sighting of abandoned or suspected items.
Local MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh also rushed to the spot to re-assure people of the area that steps would be taken to ensure their security. HNLC general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw expressed regret that a woman was injured in the incident although the bomb was placed away from crowded areas.The outfit warned it would plant a bigger bomb targeting outsiders’ and urged people of the state not to participate in the Independence Day celebration next Sunday.
Last month, the outfit had carried out another IED attack near quarters of the Reserve Police in East Jaintia Hills district. Earlier this year, HNLC had also carried out an attack inside a cement plant in the district. Three persons had been arrested then in connection with the blast.
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