Foreigners being flown out from Manipur after blast | india | Hindustan Times
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Foreigners being flown out from Manipur after blast

Ten foreigners, including 3 US citizens and a Swiss national injured in the blast on Wednesday, to be airlifted today.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 13:55 IST

India is evacuating a group of about 10 foreign nationals from Manipur where separatists killed four people and wounded 34 in a grenade attack at a temple, officials said on Thursday.

"A special aircraft would arrive in Imphal later on Thursday to take back all the foreigners, including three US citizens and a Swiss national, who were injured in the explosion," senior police official Radheshyam Singh said.

"They would be either taken to Kolkata or New Delhi."

The blast occurred on Wednesday in a temple belonging to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) in the heart of Imphal. The victims were attending Janmashtami festivities marking Lord Krishna's birthday.

There were about 10,000 devotees, including about 10 foreign nationals, when the blast took place.

"The condition of one of the US citizens injured in the attack is stated to be very critical by doctors who had operated him at a local hospital," Singh said.

Authorities are clueless as to which militant group was involved in the attack.

"We are yet to identify the group involved in the attack although one of the local outfits is definitely responsible for the explosion," the official said. "No arrests have so far been made. We are investigating the matter."

Manipur is home to about 19 rebel groups with demands ranging from secession to more autonomy. Most of the militant groups belong to the majority Metei community, most of them Hindus.

None of the militant groups has so far accepted responsibility for the attack.

"The attack is highly condemnable," the People's Liberation Army (PLA), a frontline outlawed rebel group in Manipur, said in a statement.

Security was high at other Krishna temples across India where millions of Hindus participated in special prayers on Wednesday.