Six killed in Guwahati blast, ULFA denies role


Guwahati : The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Saturday denied triggering a blast in a market in Assam's main city of Guwahati that killed six people and wounded 11.

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"We are not at all involved in the blast. We strongly condemn the explosion targeting innocent civilians," Raju Baruah, ULFA's chief spokesman, said in a statement received by IANS.

Five people, including an infant, died on the spot and 12 were injured in the blast that took place at the busy Machkhowa vegetable market around 7.50 a.m.

"A seriously injured male succumbed to his injuries at the hospital," a police official said.

The bomb was strapped to a bicycle and kept near the approach of the market.

"The blast was of a very high magnitude killing five people on the spot. The dead include an infant of about six to seven months old," Rajen Singh, additional police chief of Guwahati city, told IANS.

Most of the victims were either shoppers or vendors.

"The victims were brought to the hospital with multiple wounds in their chest, face and abdomen," a doctor at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the bomb blast and called Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over phone to convey his condolences.

Police blamed the ULFA, a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979, for the blast.

The ULFA in the past three months has staged at least 24 bomb explosions in the state killing about 20 people and wounding scores.

The outfit was also blamed for a string of attacks in January that killed about 80 people, 61 of them Hindi-speaking migrant workers.

New Delhi launched a massive military offensive against the ULFA after the strikes killing 55 rebels and arresting 553 more cadres since January.