//Manipur CM survives militant attack

Manipur CM survives militant attack

Rebels try to kill Indian state leader, but fail

17 May 2006 , Source: Reuters

IMPHAL, India, May 17 (Reuters) – Separatist militants attacked a convoy in which the chief minister of India's Manipur state was travelling on Wednesday but he was not wounded, police said.

The attack on Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh by rebels firing from automatic weapons took place at Wiakhong in Thoubal district, some 55 km (35 miles) west of Imphal, the state capital.

Police suspect rebels of the outlawed People's Liberation Army (PLA) were responsible. The attackers fired at Singh's car from a vehicle that was travelling in the opposite direction.

"The chief minister escaped unhurt," said a senior police officer in Imphal. "His bodyguards shot dead one attacker in retaliatory fire."

One of Singh's bodyguards was in critical condition after being shot by the militants.

Manipur is part of India's remote and turbulent northeast region — seven states which are home to more than two dozen armed separatist groups and over 200 tribal and ethnic communities.

Wednesday's attack was the second attempt on Singh's life by rebels. In a similar attack in 2003, a bodyguard and a driver were killed.

Singh, a veteran leader of India's Congress party, which rules the state, was going from Imphal to visit remote villages.