Seven killed in Assam bomb blast By Subir Bhaumik BBC News, Calcutta

6 04 2009

Seven people have been killed in a bomb explosion in India’s north-eastern state

Bomb scene in Guwahati

The blast comes as India prepares for its general election

of Assam.

The bomb, concealed in a car, exploded outside a busy restaurant close to the local headquarters of Indian railways in Guwahati.

Two other attacks in Assam – in the towns of Dhekiajuli and Mankachar – have left 10 people hurt.

Police told the BBC the separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) was responsible for the explosions.

‘Raising Day’

Assam police chief GM Srivastava told the BBC two people were killed at the scene in Guwahati’s Maligaon district and five more died of their wounds in hospital.

Many vehicles were destroyed by the explosion.

Many bystanders helped the injured although angry mobs also pelted police and public transport with stones after the explosion.

Map

Correspondents said blood and body parts were strewn over the entrance to the restaurant.

In a second attack, a bomb exploded in a market in the town of Dhekiajuli. Eight people were hurt, two seriously.

In the third, two people were wounded by a grenade in Mankachar in the western district of Dhubri.

Last week more than 10 people were injured when a bomb exploded not far from where India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was to address a rally.

Mr Srivastava said: “[The Ulfa] set off bombs before their “Raising Day” every year and this year is no different. We have information of some Ulfa strike squads entering Assam in the past 15 days and we are trying to pin them down.”

The Ulfa was raised, or founded, on 7 April 1979 to fight for Assam’s independence.

Intelligence officials say Ulfa is also flexing its muscles before the forthcoming Indian parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit Assam on Tuesday to campaign for his Congress party.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said: “The Ulfa is killing the innocent people of Assam. They will be punished by our people.”

He said Ulfa was trying to disrupt the elections.

The organisation has been relatively quiet in recent months after being suspected of carrying out massive serial explosions in October last year, in which 87 people died.

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