A powerful foreign made bomb was detonated at the main town of Ukhrul, a border district on Saturday night. There was no casualty. However one passenger bus parked there was extensively damaged. There has been no claim for the blast which occurred around 8.45 p.m.

Ukhrul, dominated by the Tangkhul tribe, was regarded as an island of peace in turbulent Manipur which is afflicted by the armed movement. This is the home district of Thuingaleng Muivah, the general secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) which has been engaged in peace process with the Indian government after signing a ceasefire 16 years ago. However, there has been no discernible progress in the. The demand for redrawing the map of Manipur by merging the "Naga inhabited" areas with Nagaland is contested by the people of Manipur.

However the people in the district who long for peace are disheartened by the recent recrudescence of violence. Even a candidate for college elections was gunned down. Apart from bomb blasts here and there in the district there were some attacks against the security forces.

State and Central forces are hamstrung in the counter insurgency operations since the insurgents sneak into Ukhrul from their camps in the no man's land. Besides whenever there is a heavy presence of forces they simply vanish across the international border. Sources said that in view of the spurt of insurgency related violence the government is planning to deploy more paramilitary forces in the border district.