Five blasts rock Assam, eight killed, 60 injured (Third Lead)

April 6th, 2009 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, April 6 (IANS) Assam was rocked by a series of bomb explosions and grenade attacks Monday killing eight people and wounding 60, a day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state.
A police spokesman said there were three explosions and two grenade attacks in different parts of the state, including one at a police station.

A powerful explosion rocked Guwahati’s busy Maligaon area, while another explosion shook Dhekiajuli town in northern Sonitpur district, about 150 km from here. The third explosion took place in eastern Karbi Anglong district injuring two people.

“Seven people have died and 50 injured in the blast in Guwahati. Some of the injured are serious,” Assam Inspector General of Police G.P. Singh said.

Police blamed the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for the two blasts in Guwahati and Dhekiajuli. The Karbi Anglong blast was blamed on a tribal rebel group.

The blasts also took place a day before the ULFA marks its 30th foundation day.

In the evening, militants threw a grenade at a police station in Mancachar in western Dhubri district, about 300 km from Guwahati.

“Militants lobbed a grenade at the police station injuring three policemen,” Dhubri district police chief Partha Mahanta said.

One of the injured policemen succumbed to his injuries.

Another grenade attack took place in a marketplace in Udalguri district of northern Assam, but there were no casualties.

Those injured in the Guwahati explosion where shifted to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital with multiple injuries.

“The bomb was planted on a parked motorcycle,” senior police official G.P. Singh said.

Witnesses said the area was packed with people when the explosion occurred.

“Among the injured were several school children who were returning home. A woman and a child were among those killed,” Debajit Das, a witness, said.

There was a massive fire soon after the blast in Guwahati with at least a dozen motorbikes and several cars gutted.

“Most of the victims were shoppers and vendors, besides some school children,” Singh said.

Less than two hours after the Guwahati blast, another explosion rocked Dhekiajuli town in northern Sonitpur district.

“Eight people were injured in the blast that took place in a market. The bomb was strapped to a parked bicycle,” a police official said.

A third explosion rocked eastern Karbi Anglong district injuring two people.

“The blasts come a day before the ULFA marks its 30th foundation day and we had intelligence inputs about the group planning some attacks in the city,” Singh said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to visit Assam Tuesday to address an election rally for the ruling Congress in Dibrugarh, 500 km east of Guwahati.

“This is a barbaric act and we have asked the police to take firm action,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

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