Three arrested in connection with Assam bombings

November 1st, 2008 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Nov 1 (IANS) The Assam police have arrested three people in connection with Thursday’s bombings in the state, including a man from whose mobile an SMS was sent in the name of an unknown terror group claiming responsibility for the blasts that killed 77 people. Police said Saturday three cars were used for the blasts in Guwahati.Nazir Ahmed was arrested from Moirabari in eastern Assam’s Morigaon district. An SMS had been sent to a local television channel Friday from Ahmed’s mobile phone in the name of ‘The Islamic Security Force (Indian Mujahideen)’ claiming responsibility for the bombings, the worst the state has seen.

According to the state’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Ahmed had submitted false identity proof documents to get his mobile connection. He is being grilled by special teams of the intelligence and police.

Two other arrests were made in connection with the blasts, Mahanta said. One man was arrested as his car was used in the Panbazar bombing in front of the district magistrate’s court in Guwahati. The other arrested man’s motorcycle was used in the bombing in Bongaigaon.

Mahanta said that three cars were used in the six blasts that rocked this city, and not any motorcycles as thought earlier. The bombings in the city killed 45 people.

The explosions took place in Ganeshguri Market, the chief judicial magistrate’s office in Panbazar and Fancy Bazar. Two explosions rocked each of the places, within minutes of the first.

Police now say two powerful explosives were packed into each of the three cars and timed to go off within minutes.

The explosives used were a mixture of RDX, ammonium nitrate and plasticized explosives, Mahanta said. “We have got other vital leads and will be able to crack down on the masterminds very soon,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet met Saturday morning and decided to introduce a police commissioner’s post to deal with terrorism so that he would have enough magisterial powers.

“The cabinet also decided to offer handsome cash rewards to anyone providing clues to the bombing,” said government spokesperson and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Assam was rocked by a wave of bombings - 12 blasts in quick succession - six in Guwahati, and six in the three western districts of Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon Thursday afternoon, killing at least 77 people and injuring more than 300.

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