Six killed, 18 wounded in N-E blasts | india | Hindustan Times
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Six killed, 18 wounded in N-E blasts

Police suspect the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to be behind the blast.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2007 13:45 IST

Six people were killed and 18 wounded in two different separatist attacks, including a powerful bomb explosion, in India's northeastern states of Manipur and Assam, officials said on Friday.

Five people were killed in Manipur when armed militants entered a bakery at Ningthoukhong village, about 40 km south of Imphal, and opened fire at the workers late on Thursday.

"The militants fired indiscriminately on a group of workers, killing five on the spot," A Singh, a police official, said by telephone.

The provocation for the attack was not known, he added. "Investigations are on and security forces have since launched a hunt to nab the rebels."

Manipur is home to 19 separatist groups with demands ranging from independence to greater autonomy.

In Assam, one person was killed and 18 wounded in a powerful bomb explosion at a marketplace late on Thursday.

Police said the bomb went off outside a hardware shop in Kakopathar village in Tinsukia district, about 530 km east of Guwahati.

"The shopkeeper was preparing to down his shutters when the explosion took place," Sadhani Dar, a police official, said by telephone.

The shop owner had spotted an unclaimed bag just outside his shop and informed the police.

"In less than two minutes after we were informed about the bag, the explosion took place. There was a crowd of people who gathered around the bag and hence so many were injured," the official said.

Seven members of the shop owner's family were among the injured of which one died in hospital later. "Minutes later we recovered another powerful bomb barely 100 metres away from the blast site," Dar added.

Police suspect the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to be behind the blast although no group has claimed responsibility.

"The modus operandi of the blast points to ULFA as they are known to attack in crowded places," another police official said.

The ULFA, fighting for an independent homeland since 1979, was blamed for a string of attacks in January that killed about 80 people, 61 of them Hindi-speaking migrant workers in eastern Assam.

The ULFA has in recent weeks offered to hold talks with New Delhi although there is no response yet from the government.