Bomb blast in Assam market, 18 injured

September 20th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Sep 20 (IANS) At least 18 people were injured, two of them critically, in a powerful explosion Saturday in Assam, officials said, blaming the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for the blast.A police spokesman said the blast took place at a crowded marketplace in Sivasagar town in eastern Assam, 370 km from the state’s main city of Guwahati.

“The blast was powerful with most of the victims being either evening shoppers or vendors,” a senior police official said by telephone.

Of the 18 injured, two were stated to be critical. Four women and a child were among those wounded.

“All the injured with multiple wounds were shifted to hospitals,” the official said.

“We suspect it was the handiwork of the ULFA as they had suffered heavy reverses in the form of arrests, encounter deaths, and few of them surrendered in the past few weeks,” the official said.

The ULFA, fighting for an independent homeland since 1979, is split with a potent striking unit of the outfit declaring a unilateral ceasefire in June.

“Investigations are on to ascertain the nature of explosives used in the blast,” the police official said.

On Thursday, 15 people were injured in a blast in western Assam, also suspected to have been triggered by ULFA.

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