Three blasts rock Assam; 7 killed, several injured

via published on April 6, 2009

Guwahati, April 06: At least seven people were killed and over 30 injured as three blasts rocked Assam on Monday – a day before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s scheduled to visit the state.

The first blast occurred in Maliaon area of Guwahati at around 1.40 pm killing six people and injuring over 20 besides sparking a fire that set ablaze two cars and 20 motorcycles and spread to a three-storey building housing a police station at Maligaon here.

The blast was triggered by an IED and was suspected to have been hidden in a car or a motorcycle parked in a crowded market at the Jalukpari Police Station

Five persons were killed on the spot and another died of injuries at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital, the sources said.

One of the dead was a student of the Maligaon Primary School. The students were coming out of the school when the bomb went off.

The injured were admitted to nearby Sanjivani Hospital, in the adjacent Northast Frontier Railway Headquarters hospital and the rest were sent to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital, sources said.

The second blast took place at 3.30 pm in Dekhiajuli area of the Sonitpur district killing at least one and injuring four people. According to reports, the explosive was placed on a bicycle.

A third blast was reported from Manchachar in Karbi Anglong district of Lower Assam. According to reports the blast was a grenade explosion, which injured two people.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and state Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have condemned the blasts. “This is a barbaric act and we have asked the police to take firm action,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

While police blamed the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) for the two blasts in Guwahati and Dhekiajuli, the responsibility of the Karbi Anglong bombing was placed on a tribal rebel group.

Preliminary investigations indicated ULFA hand in the blast as the banned outfit has carried out such explosions in the past too on the eve of its ‘Raising Day’, which falls tomorrow, sources said about the first two blasts.

A NSG Bomb Data Centre Team has left Delhi for Guwahati. The team is expected to carry out detailed forensic examinations of the blasts site.

Assam Health Minister Hemanta B Sharma confirmed the deaths and said the state will request for more troops before the polls.

“Such incidents will not deviate our focus from holding peaceful elections,” he said. He also put the blame of the incident on ULFA, saying the terror outfit was receiving foreign aid.

Immediately after the blasts, the irate locals began pelting the police station with stones, blaming the security agencies of failing to provide adequate protection before polls.

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