One person died and two sustained shrapnel injuries when a powerful bomb exploded near the Hafta Kangjeibung playground here on Wednesday morning.

The Sangai festival, organised by the Manipur government, and a fair were being held at the venue opposite All India Radio station. Some foreigners are also participating in the festival.

Police suspect that two bombs were brought by Mohammad Kora (50) of Irong Leikai, Mayang Imphal, in his cycle rickshaw. One bomb was planted nearby the venue while the second one exploded in front of the entrance to the festival venue.

Police managed to extract vital information from the seriously injured Kora who later died.

He reportedly confessed that he brought the bombs. The area was cordoned off for long hours as police searched for the unexploded bomb.

The blast was so powerful that windowpanes of houses located about two kilometres away were shattered.

Two women walking along the road suffered minor injuries. They were identified as Yumnam Bala (50) of Konthoujam Awang Leikai and Chabungbam Bedabati (24).Police suspect a plot to plant bombs at some places where Prime Minister Manmohon Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will be travelling and addressing a public meeting on December 3. Following the blast, police, security forces and intelligence agencies have been put on high alert. Police and security forces are combing suspected areas. Passersby are frisked and packets thoroughly searched using sniffer dogs.

Proscribed underground organisations boycott visits of dignitaries by enforcing bandhs. There had been some acts of violence during such visits.

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