Three blasts in Assam towns, seven killed (Second Lead)

April 6th, 2009 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, April 6 (IANS) At least seven people were killed and 50 injured Monday when three blasts in quick succession rocked Assam’s marketplaces, including in its main city Guwahati, a day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state.
The first blast took place in Guwahati’s busy Maligaon area around 1.45 p.m. and killed seven people. Barely two hours later, 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.

“The blasts come a day before the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) marks its 30th foundation day and we had intelligence inputs about the group planning some attacks in the city,” said Inspector General of Police (central western range) G.P. Singh, adding that the Guwahati bomb was planted on a parked motorcycle.

The blasts also came a day before the prime minister’s visit to Assam Tuesday to address an election rally for the ruling Congress party 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.

Most of the victims in Guwahati, where 45 people were injured, some of them seriously, were shoppers and vendors, besides some schoolchildren, police said.

Witnesses added that the area was packed with people when the explosion occurred.

“Among the injured were several schoolchildren 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.

Less than two hours after the Guwahati blast, another bomb placed on a parked bicycle exploded in Dhekiajuli town.

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

The third explosion took place in Karbi Anglong district.

While police blamed the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for the two blasts in Guwahati and Dhekiajuli, the responsibility of the Karbi Anglong bombing was placed on a tribal rebel group.

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