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.





Assam blasts: Sketch of suspected bomber released

5 11 2008

The police on Tuesday released the sketch of a suspect in connection with the Assam serial blasts that claimed 81 lives. (Watch)

Police said the sketch matches 77 per cent with the person suspected to be responsible for the explosion at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Kamrup on October 30. The person, dressed in a white kurta, is said to be of fair complexion with short hair and a thin moustache.

The sketch is that of a youth with a light beard, a thin moustache and a broad face.

“The suspect is a fair complexioned man aged below 35 years and about 5.7 feet tall with an athletic build weighing about 68 kg,” another police officials said.


Sources said the sketch was prepared on the basis of inputs from five witnesses.

On October 30, there were six near-simultaneous blasts in Guwahati at about 11:30 am in crowded market places –Ganeshguri, Pan Bazaar Fancy bazaar and the District Court complex. The high-intensity blasts set off fire in several areas.

As Guwahati tried to get on its feet, news of other blasts from Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta came in. Ironically in Barpeta, the police found a bomb at 9 am but by the time they could find experts to defuse it, the bomb exploded.





ULFA, Bangladesh’s DGFI join hands to wreak havoc

1 11 2008

Sat, Nov 01, 2008 at 17:16

Source: IBNLIVE

Video: IBNLIVE

New Delhi: The serial bomb blasts in four cities of Assam on Thursday point to a new chapter of terror by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

The investigating agencies say that ULFA is being backed by Bangaldesh’s military intelligence wing, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) which has been modelled on Pakistan’s ISI.

Chief of Bangladesh’s Army General Moeen Uddin Ahmed has been at the centre of India’s diplomatic efforts in Bangladesh in the last eight months.

Indian agencies say DGFI’s head till early this month Major General ATM Amin has always been close to ISI. Major General ATM Amin was also instrumental in giving advanced training in bomb making to a new batch of ULFA cadres in Maximhat near Chittagong in from April to June this year.

The camp also trained new boys of other tribal insurgent groups from North-East and West Bengal like the All Tripura Tiger Force and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation.

“The ISI and the DGFI are behind these things. Their new strategy is to use the local outfits. They design and plan the entire thing,” GM Srivastav, former ADG (Ops), Assam Police, says.

Indian investigators allege that several separatist militant groups from North-East are flexing their muscle from hideouts in Dhaka.

According to a list given by India to Bangladesh, nearly 100 insurgent camps, hideouts and safe houses of militant groups operating in the North-East are based in Bangladesh.

The document clearly shows that the ULFA leads the pack of separatist groups that operate from Bangladesh. The group also maintains seven active training camps in Bangladesh and its chief Paresh Barua is also hiding there.

“If you look at the history of violence in Assam perpetrated by ULFA from 80s, there have been a number of blasts people have died in large numbers,” Srivastav says.

ULFA’s character is also changing. The group’s armed wings do not recruit only Assamese men anymore. They hire anyone who will carry out their agenda, for a price and their commander-in-chief Paresh Barua insists that the new band of boys don’t discuss political ideology in the training camp.

While insurgency has degenerated into urban terrorism, now the ULFA has gained the eyeballs and attention they have craved for several years.





Assam blasts :New Terror group emerges few more suspects

31 10 2008
Guwahati, Oct 31 (PTI) Little-known Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISF-IM) today claimed responsibility for the serial blasts that killed 77 people in Assam and warned of more such attacks.
In an SMS message sent to local ‘News Live’ television channel, the ISF-IM claimed responsibility for yesterday’s blasts and threatened to carry out more bomb explosions in several parts of the country.

The message said, “we thank all our holy members and partners” for successfully carrying out the task.

The SMS was received on the mobile of the channel’s input desk from a Reliance connection with the number 98646-93690.

The mobile phone was subsequently switched off and security forces traced it to Moirabari in Central Assam’s Nagaon district registered in the name of one Nazir Ahmed.

Police officials are investigating the matter.

The outfit was formed in 2000 in Lower Assam’s Bodo-dominated areas “to counter” the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) and NDFB militants, police sources said.

The full text of the SMS is: “We, ISF-IM, take the responsibility of yesterday blast. We warn all of Assam and India for situation like this in future. We thank all our holy members and partners. AAamin.” PTI


Here are some of the main groups suspected to be behind the attacks:
Source: Reuters

* ULFA The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is Assam’s major separatist group that has been fighting since 1979. It accuses New Delhi of plundering the state’s mineral resources and giving back nothing in return. ULFA is often blamed for attacks in Assam, but the group has denied responsibility for the Oct 30 blasts.

* HuJI Harkat-ul-Jehad al Islami (HuJI) is a Bangladeshi militant Islamist group that has often been suspected of attacks on Indian cities. HuJI has been linked to ULFA. Assam has a long-simmering conflict between its indigenous population and Bangladeshi immigrants, many of them illegal. Mainly Hindu tribesmen fear being overrun by Muslims, who make up 40 percent of the state. Indian police say HuJI is also connected to the little-known Indian Mujahideen group, which claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks in Indian cities in 2008. HuJI was blamed for the 2004 bombing of a political rally addressed by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and an attack on Bangladeshi born British High Commissioner Anwar Chowdhury.

* Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM) is another Bangladeshi militant Islamist group trying to turn the mainly Muslim country into a sharia state. Members of the group exploded more than 500 bombs across Bangladesh simultaneously in August 2005, killing six people. Some of its top leaders have been hanged but law enforcement agencies say hundreds of militants remain in hiding.

* Lashkar-e-Taiba Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani militant group which New Delhi says plays a leading role in supporting an insurgency in Indian Kashmir, may not be directly linked with the Assam bombs, but the group has ideological links with HuJI. LeT is also said to train ULFA cadres. New Delhi has accused LeT of involvement in attacks across India in the past. The group, which figures on the U.S. list of terrorist organisations, is officially banned in Pakistan. But India says it still operates there with impunity after changing its name. Indian police say the outfit is also connected to the Indian Mujahideen, a new group which has claimed responsibility for a slew of attacks in India since last year.

(Compiled by Matthias Williams; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Sanjeev Miglani)





Assam blasts and More blasts: Chronology

30 10 2008

Watch BBC Video

Watch IBNLIVE video

Source: Reuters

A chronology of some of the major attacks in India in the past five years:

March 13, 2003 – A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

Aug 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

Aug 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

Oct 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.

July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.

Sept 8, 2006 – At least 35 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.

Feb 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.

May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

Aug 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.

July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.

Sept 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 23 people and injuring more than 100. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.

Oct 30 – Eleven bomb blasts in quick succession rip through the main city of India’s troubled northeastern Assam state and three other towns, killing at least 39 people and wounding 210.





Major attacks since 2003

25 09 2008

Source: Hindustan times

Septemer 13th 2008 – At least five bombs exploded in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen militant group, which has claimed several major attacks in recent months, said it was responsible.

Following is a chronology of some of the major attacks in India in the past five years:

March 13, 2003 – A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

August 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

August 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

October 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the northerly Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.

July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.

September 8, 2006 – At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.

February 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.

May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

August 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.

July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.

September 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.