- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

GAUHATI, INDIA (AP) - Police say a second explosion in India’s restive northeast has wounded four people.

Senior police official G.M. Srivastava says the blast in Dhekiajuli town came hours after an explosion in Gauhati, the capital of Assam, killed seven and injured 56 people.

Srivastava says the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom is suspected in both attacks.

He says the second blast occurred at a market in Dhekiajuli, 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of Gauhati.

The attacks came a day before the 30th anniversary of the founding of the militant group, which has been linked to many acts of terrorism in Assam and usually stages attacks around its anniversary.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

GAUHATI, India (AP) _ A bomb exploded in a crowded market in India’s restive northeast Monday, killing at least six people and wounding 26, police said.

Authorities suspect the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom was behind the attack, the second in less than a week to hit Gauhati, the capital of Assam state, said senior police official G.P. Singh.

Singh said the bomb was likely tied to a motorbike but that police were still investigating. He said police had recently received information that ULFA was planning a major attack in Gauhati.

The blast came a day before the 30th anniversary of the founding of the militant group, which has been linked to many acts of terrorism in Assam and usually stages attacks around its anniversary.

The United Liberation Front of Asom wants an independent state for ethnic Assamese and is the largest of the northeast’s dozens of militant groups.

The separatists accuse the government of exploiting the area’s natural resources while doing little for the indigenous people _ most of whom are ethnically closer to Burma and China than to the rest of India.

More than 10,000 people have died in separatist violence over the past decade.

The March 31 blast in Gauhati left one dead and 13 wounded.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was scheduled to visit Assam on Tuesday ahead of national elections that begin later this month. A spokeswoman for his office, Deepak Sandhu, said Singh still planned to make the trip.


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