Guwahati : Nine people, including two policemen, were wounded in a powerful explosion Friday at a marketplace in Assam, the latest in a wave of terror attacks linked to the coming Independence Day celebrations.
A police spokesman said the blast took place at a crowded market in Diphu town, headquarters of Karbi Anglong district, about 300 km east of Assam’s main city Guwahati.
“A police team cordoned off the area and asked hundreds of evening shoppers to evacuate after some alert locals informed them about an unidentified object in the market,” Karbi Anglong police chief Anurag Thankha told IANS by telephone.”The timer device went off before the police could clear off the area.”
Two policemen bore the brunt of the explosion.
“There would have been heavy casualties had the police not evacuated the area,” the official said.
The injured, most of them evening shoppers or vendors, were shifted to a hospital with multiple injuries.
The police blamed the attack on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF), both working in tandem in parts of the Karbi Anglong district.
This was the eighth explosion in Assam since Sunday.
Rebels in insurgency-hit Assam, the largest among the seven north-eastern states, have for years been boycotting the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.
The run-up to the events has always been violent, with ULFA striking vital installations including crude oil pipelines, trains and road and rail bridges besides targeting security forces.