Three killed in Guwahati blast, ULFA hand suspected (Second lead)

January 9th, 2009 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Jan 9 (IANS) At least three people were killed and 10 others injured in a powerful explosion Friday evening at a crowded marketplace in Guwahati, the main city in India’s restive northeastern state of Assam, officials said. The police suspect the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to be behind the blast. A police spokesman said the blast took place near the Maligaon railway crossing market in Guwahati. “According to preliminary reports three people were killed and about 10 more injured, although the exact casualty figures would be known later,” a senior police official said.

According to witnesses and the police, the bomb was strapped to a bicycle parked between two stationary vehicles.

“The two cars actually prevented a big casualty. A number of cars were damaged in the explosion,” the official said.

The injured were shifted to local hospitals with multiple injuries.

“It appears to be a powerful blast although we cannot provide any details at this moment,” the official said.

No rebel group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s blast.

“We suspect it to be the handiwork of the ULFA with the blast carried out to create panic. Investigations are on,” Assam police chief G.M. Srivastava said.

Guwahati on New Year’s Day witnessed three serial explosions killing six people and wounding 50 more.

The police blamed the outlawed ULFA for the Jan 1 wave of bombings.

On Thursday, police and army soldiers gunned down 20-year-old Pranjal Deka, believed to be the main suspect in the New Year’s Day bombings. Deka’s photographs were earlier released by the police, blaming him to be the main accused in the explosions.

On October 30, nine explosions rocked Assam, including three in Guwahati, in which a total of 95 people were killed and 300 more were wounded.

Authorities blamed the ULFA and the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in collaboration with the Bangladesh based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) for the Oct 30 serial explosions.

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