Serial blasts in Assam kill one, injure 22

March 8th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Guwahati, March 8 (IANS) At least one person was killed and 22 injured, four of them critically, in a string of explosions Saturday in Assam, officials said. A police spokesman said militants lobbed a grenade near a crowded marketplace in Dibrugarh city, 480 km east of Assam’s main city of Guwahati. “The grenade exploded close to a roadside tea stall where a large group of people were present,” spokesman B. Baruah told IANS by phone.

One person died on the spot and six more were wounded, two of them critically. The victims were all evening shoppers and vendors.

Earlier Saturday, a powerful blast took place at the eastern Assam town of Tinsukia, 520 km from Guwahati, wounding 16 people.

“The bomb was concealed in a sack and strapped to a parked bicycle near a busy commercial area. It was a powerful blast. All 16 people injured were either shoppers or vendors,” police official A. Das said over phone from Tinsukia.

The victims were shifted to local hospitals with multiple injuries. Two of them were said to be in critical condition. The police also recovered two more bombs planted in various Tinsukia markets.

“A major tragedy was averted with the timely spotting of the two bombs,” Das said.

In another explosion in the heart of Guwahati, two pedestrians were wounded and a vehicle damaged. “A low intensity bomb was planted beneath a parked truck in a market area. The impact was not that powerful and hence the casualties were just two,” a senior police official said.

Police blamed the three blasts on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland in Assam since 1979.

The ULFA has not yet claimed responsibility for the explosions.

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