The News Minute| March 11, 2015| 11.00pm IST
At least three people were killed and 23 injured in a bomb blast at a crowded marketplace in the Manipur capital Imphal on Wednesday evening, police said.
Some media reports said four people were killed in the explosion triggered by a separatist outfit.
"An IED (improvised explosive device) planted near a chicken shop at Khwairamband Keithel exploded, killing three people on the spot and wounding 23 others, including women," a police official said.
Inspector General of Police Clay Khongsai had earlier told IANS that three people were dead and 21 were injured.
The injured, most of them either shoppers or vendors, were immediately taken to the central government run Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
Local media reports said another man succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, taking the toll to four. Police officials were unavailable to confirm the death of the fourth person.
RIMS sources said the condition of at least six of the wounded was critical.
Among those killed, two were non-locals. One was identified as Mithu Yadav, a resident of Bihar, while the identity of the other person was yet to be ascertained.
The third person killed in the blast was identified as Md. Suman Khan, a resident of Kshetri Awang Leikai of Imphal East district.
Police officials along with additional security forces have rushed to the spot and launched a combing operation to nab those responsible for the blast.
No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.
Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh condemned the attack.
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, who also holds the home portfolio, told reporters: "We have asked police to nab the militants responsible for the blasts at any cost."
Manipur has about 40 militant outfits. While more than 20 armed groups have tripartite ceasefire agreements with the state and central governments, the Coordination Committee, an umbrella group of six militant outfits, has been rejecting an offer of peace talks.