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16 injured in Assam militant attack

Suspected ULFA militants tossed a powerful grenade near the BDO office in Jonai late on Saturday night and fled.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2006 12:16 IST

At least 16 people were wounded in a powerful grenade explosion in Assam, said an official on Sunday.

According to the police, militants suspected to be from the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) late Saturday lobbed a grenade on a police patrol at Jonai town, Huri, about 520 km east of Guwahati.

"The target missed the convoy and exploded in a pavement near a market wounding 16 evening shoppers of which five of them were critical," said police spokesman I Hazarika.

The injured have been shifted to local hospitals.

There was another grenade explosion in eastern Assam's Dibrugarh district late on Saturday though no casualties were reported.

"The grenade was hurled at the local police station, but it fell metres away from the building and exploded causing no damage at all," a police official said. No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

On Friday, ULFA militants triggered a grenade explosion on an army convoy killing one soldier and wounding two more in the eastern Tinsukia district.

The three explosions are seen as attempts by rebels to step up violence ahead of the Aug 15 Independence Day celebrations.

"This is nothing but attempts at creating panic by militants ahead of Independence Day and we have intelligence inputs about such plans," said Assam police chief Dipak Narayan Dutt.

First Published: Aug 06, 2006 09:45 IST