Rebels struck at the Durga Puja festival in Assam, killing a child and wounding 23 devotees, after a powerful grenade explosion rocked a community celebration in Dhemaji town, officials on Monday said.
Militants suspected to be from the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) attacked a Durga Puja pandal in Dhemaji, 550 kms east of Guwahati. The incident took place around 11.30 pm on Sunday.
"Militants lobbed a grenade at the Durga Puja venue with the area crowded with devotees. A child was killed on the spot and 23 were injured, some of them critically," police official A Bora said.
"There was utter chaos and panic soon after the blast and the attack was definitely carried out by the ULFA."
This is the third attack in the past week after New Delhi on September 24 called off a six-week ceasefire and resumed military operations against the ULFA.
The peace process collapsed last week after the People's Consultative Group (PCG), a group of civil society leaders nominated by the ULFA to mediate for talks, pulled out of the talks blaming the central government for calling off the truce.
The ULFA had carried out three explosions targeting civilians in eastern Assam in the past week and had also blown up a gas pipeline belonging to the state-owned Oil India Limited.