Guwahati: At least five people were killed and 26 wounded when suspected separatist militants set off three bombs in Assam on Thursday, police said. The death toll is likely to rise, they added.
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Two other devices exploded in the late afternoon, one of them near a crowded shopping mall, police said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Aftermath: ecurity personnel inspect the site of the blast at Bhootnath in Guwahati. Three blasts rocked Assam in the new year. Biju Boro / AFP
Police pointed the finger at the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), the major separatist group in the oil- and tea-rich state often blamed for attacks, for being behind the blasts.
“We suspect the Ulfa is behind these explosions,” Guwahati’s deputy inspector general of police G.P. Singh said. The blasts hit Guwahati before the home minister P. Chidambaram arrived in the state for a security review on Thursday.
Ulfa is among the at least two dozen armed groups in the north-east which are either fighting for an independent homeland or more political autonomy.
They accuse New Delhi of plundering the region’s mineral and forest resources, neglecting the local economy and giving them back nothing in return.