Home Indian Muslim Three killed, 45 injured in Assam serial blasts

Three killed, 45 injured in Assam serial blasts


Guwahati : A string of explosions rocked Assam Saturday killing three people and wounding about 45 including 10 policemen, officials said.

A police spokesman said there were four explosions between 5.30 p.m. to 7.15 p.m. in Tinsukia, Doomdooma, and Diphu towns in eastern Assam.

The first two explosions took place one after the other in two crowded markets of Tinsukia town, about 510 km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati.

"Two civilians were killed and 19 people, including 10 policemen, were injured in the two explosions, both of which were (due to bombs) concealed inside pressure cookers," P. Bhuyan, police chief of Tinsukia district, told IANS by telephone.

The official said the first blast took place in the busy vegetable market.

"A pressure cooker was identified and police were trying to evacuate the area. The explosion took place minutes later before the area could be cleared," the police official said.

Five minutes later, a powerful explosion rocked the adjacent fruits market.

"The modus operandi was the same with the bomb, possibly a time device, kept inside a pressure cooker," Bhuyan said.

The injured were rushed to a local hospital with multiple injuries and the condition of at least seven of them was stated to be critical.

In the adjoining town of Doomdooma in Tinsukia district, 11 people were injured, three of them critically, when a powerful bomb went off outside a cinema.

"Most of the injured were vendors waiting outside the theatre," a police official said from Doomdooma.

The fourth blast took place around 7.15 p.m. in the heart of Diphu town, about 290 km east of here.

"One person was killed and 15 people, most of them either vendors or evening shoppers, were injured in the explosion that took place in a busy market area," a police official said from Diphu, the headquarters of Karbi Anglong district.

Police blamed the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland since 1979, for the serial blasts.

The ULFA in the past three months staged at least 24 bomb explosions in Assam killing about 20 people and wounding scores more – last week six people were killed in a blast in the heart of Guwahati.

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 60 rebels and arresting about 600 cadres since January.

A fragile peace process between the central government and ULFA representatives had collapsed in September last year with New Delhi accusing the rebel group of stepping up violence and extortion in Assam.