Six killed, 35 injured in Assam market blast

June 29th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, June 29 (IANS) At least six people were killed and 35 injured, including two policemen, in a powerful explosion Sunday at a crowded marketplace in an Assam village, officials said. A police spokesman said the blast took place at a weekly bazaar in Kumarikata village, about 70 km west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.

“The market was teeming with people when the explosion took place, killing six people on the spot and wounding about 35 more,” the official said by telephone from Kumarikata.

The official said there were two Assam policemen among those injured. “The condition of at least 15 of them are stated to be critical,” he added.

The injured have been shifted to a hospital. Most of the injured were either shoppers or vendors at the multipurpose market selling vegetables to fish, groceries and clothes.

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

This is the second blast in the last two days - on Saturday 10 people were injured in a blast at a market in eastern Nagaon town.

The recent spate of violence comes even as several rebel commanders of the ULFA’s 28th battalion declared a unilateral ceasefire after differences of opinion with the outfit’s central leadership. The 28th battalion is considered ULFA’s most potent striking unit.

“Sunday’s blast is probably an attempt by the ULFA’s 709 battalion to demonstrate the fact that they are still a force to be reckoned with despite their 28th battalion entering into a ceasefire,” the police official said.

The ULFA is yet to own up to the explosion. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam during the past two decades.

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