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Three men of the anti-talk faction of the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) were killed on Friday in a powerful blast in Mongre village under Agiya police station in Goalpara district, 150km west of Guwahati, police said.
The Improvised Explosive Device-triggered blast took place in a house, near the Assam–Meghalaya border, where the Ulfa men had taken shelter.
"They were waiting for an opportunity to plant the bomb in a public place. The slain cadres have been identified. The outfit has been trying to target security forces and plant bombs in public places in Goalpara district. We foiled several such attempts of Ulfa (I) in recent times," said Nitul Gogoi, superintendent of police of Goalpara.
Police said the house was totally destroyed in the blast and if the Ulfa (I) men got an opportunity to plant the bomb in a public place, the casualty would have been very high.
A grenade, pistols and incriminating documents of Ulfa (I) were recovered from the spot.
Security measures across the state have been tightened ahead of the Independence Day celebration after intelligence agencies intercepted messages of Paresh Baura, the chief of Ulfa (I).
Barua ordered cadres active in the state to carry out attacks on security forces, vital installations ahead of the Independence Day celebration in the state.
In July last year, Ulfa (I) had triggered a blast near Krishnai police station in Goalpara district killing one person and injuring three.
The bomb was planted in a bicycle.
The outfit had been silent for the last few months after it suffered series of setbacks.
The outfit split into pro-talk and anti-talk factions after large numbers of cadres under Arabinda Rajkhowa, the chairman of the united outfit, decided to give up their armed struggle and favoured to sit down for talks with the government for a political solution of the problem.
The anti-talk faction, rechristened as Ulfa (Independent), has been trying to raise its armed struggle to a new level by seeking support from other militant outfits active in the northeastern states.
Ulfa (I) has been carryout out joint operation with Garo National Liberation Army, the Garo tribal militant outfit in Garo hills district of Meghalaya.