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Focussed operation on in Assam to fight terror: Chidambaram

Home Minister P Chidambaram today announced the launching of a massive military operation in Assam in the wake of the serial bombings on Thursday that killed six people and wounded 50.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Guwahati
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2009 04:17 PM IST

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday announced the launching of a massive military operation in Assam in the wake of the serial bombings on Thursday that killed six people and wounded 50.

"Broad guidelines were given to the Unified Command to move sharply with a focussed operational strategy," Chidambaram told journalists in Guwahati.

Earlier, the home minister attended a two-hour meeting of the Unified Command chaired by the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

"We are determined to catch the perpetrators of Thursday's bombings with Assam police already identifying two of the three terrorists involved. Assam police know the identity and face of the militants," the home minister said, adding: "We are going to be very firm and decisive against militants in Assam."

Three blasts rocked Guwahati Thursday - two in crowded marketplaces and another by a roadside garbage bin. "No quarter will be given to militancy," Chidambaram said.

The home minister said Bangladesh continues to be a "safe sanctuary" for militant leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

"The prime minister-elect of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina made a positive statement saying her government would not allow Bangladesh to be used by Indian terrorists and that she will join India in the fight against terror," the home minister noted.

"We hope we will make a good beginning together in the fight against terror."

Chidambaram said there were specific intelligence inputs that terrorists were planning to strike in Assam Dec 31.

"We passed the information to the state government and the Assam police acted swiftly. They almost managed to catch the terrorists, but they managed to escape," the home minister said.

"But I am told the Assam police would be able to apprehend the terrorists involved in the blasts very soon."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is arriving in Guwahati late Friday and will meet the injured blast victims at the hospital.

The prime minister leaves for Meghalaya state capital Shillong Saturday to inaugurate the Indian Science Congress.

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