Three killed, 12 wounded in twin Assam blasts


Guwahati : Three people were killed and 12 wounded in Assam Tuesday in two separate explosions, including one in a Guwahati market, in attacks linked to the Aug 15 Independence Day celebrations.

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“The bomb was kept near a garbage bin (in the busy) Ganeshguri (locality in Guwahati). Two people were injured in the attack,” a police official said.

Earlier, three people were killed and 10 wounded in an explosion in front of a police station in Jorhat, 310 km east of here.

“The bomb was concealed in a sack and kept on a parked bicycle near the police station,” Jorhat police chief Deepak Choudhury told IANS over telephone.

The injured, four of them policemen, were shifted to a local hospital with multiple injuries.

“The area was crowded with people when the blast took place. It was a very powerful explosion that was heard from a distance of about three km,” another police official said.

This is the fourth explosion in Assam in two days. Ten people were wounded Sunday in three separate blasts. Police have blamed all the attacks on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

“ULFA is attempting to step up attacks ahead of Independence Day as part of their campaign to make their presence felt,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

Rebels in insurgency-hit Assam, the largest among the seven northeastern states, have for years been boycotting the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations to protest the central government’s rule over the vast region rich in oil, tea and timber. The run-up to the events has always been violent, with ULFA rebels striking vital installations including crude oil pipelines, trains and road and rail bridges, besides targeting Indian Army soldiers.

The ULFA is fighting for an independent homeland since 1979.

More than 30 rebel armies operate in the northeastern states, their demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.