Toll in Assam blasts rises to 71, dozen suspects held

October 31st, 2008 - 10:50 am ICT by IANS  

Shivraj PatilGuwahati, Oct 31 (IANS) The death toll in the serial bombings in Assam rose to 71 with seven more people succumbing to their injuries overnight, even as a dozen suspects were picked up for interrogation from various parts of the state, officials said Friday. “Seven more injured people died overnight in various hospitals across Assam taking the toll to 71,” an Assam government spokesman said.

Police meanwhile picked up about a dozen suspects for interrogation.

“We are making good headway in our investigations and should be able to zero in on the people or groups involved in the serial bombings,” said a senior Assam police official requesting anonymity.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil is scheduled to arrive in Guwahati later Friday to take stock of the situation.

It was a black Thursday for Assam as the state 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.

Sixty-four were killed Thursday in the bombings that also left more than 300 wounded, at least 70 of them critically.

“The injured are being treated at various hospitals and if required we shall shift some of the victims to Delhi or other places for advanced treatment,” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told IANS.

While there was anger in the eyes of the people, police investigators were trying to piece together evidence from the blast sites.

“We cannot comment on anything now,” said a National Security Guards (NSG) detective in Guwahati.

A seven-member elite NSG team arrived Thursday evening to help in the investigations.

“We are determined to fight back terror and ensure security to the people of Assam,” said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

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