Five killed, 16 hurt in blast in Assam

The blast followed a series of grenade attacks in the state on Thursday.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 20:03 IST

Five people were killed and more than 16 wounded on Friday when a bomb exploded in a crowded market in Guwahati, police said.

"The bomb was concealed in a vegetable basket and it was placed in a crowded area," senior police officer Nitul Gogoi said.

Among the dead was a 10-year-old boy, he said.

The bodies of three of the dead lay among scattered vegetables in the market. All shops nearby were shut down.

The blast followed a series of grenade attacks in the state on Thursday which wounded at least 20 people.

The attacks followed shortly after an announcement that a third round of talks between New Delhi and representatives of the region's most powerful rebel group -- the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) -- would be held on June 22.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"Right now we are more concerned with saving the lives of the injured and later on we will order an investigation to identify the real culprit behind this gruesome act," Ripun Bora, a senior state minister, informed.

The ULFA has fought a war for the secession of Assam from India for more than 25 years, accusing New Delhi of neglecting the state's economy and taking away its rich natural resources.

Seven states of the remote northeast are connected to India by a thread of land called the "chicken's neck". Apart from the ULFA, the region is also home to at least a dozen other insurgencies.

First Published: Jun 09, 2006 20:03 IST