Militants bomb ONGC facility in Assam
ULFA and five other groups have called a 17-hour general strike from 1 am on Thursday to protest Republic Day celebrations.india Updated: Jan 25, 2006 12:07 IST
Militantsbombed an ONGC oil installation overnight in Assam in a continued wave of explosions ahead of Republic Day, officials said on Wednesday.
A police spokesman said suspected ULFA militants late on Tuesday triggered a powerful explosion on an oil installation in eastern Assam's Sivasagar district.
"There was a big blast near a crude oil storage site although the damage was minimal. It would have been devastating had the blast taken place near the huge oil tanks," police chief of Sivasagar district BP Rabha said over telephone.
An ONGC spokesman said there was a big fire in one of the oil storage facilities in the same district late Tuesday.
"The fire has been put out although we are yet to ascertain if the blaze was a result of some attacks by miscreants or an accidental one," senior ONGC official T Hussain said.
Police said suspected militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) beginning Friday carried out at least 16 explosions killing three people and wounding 31 more, besides blowing up six oil and gas installations and three power plants.
The ULFA so far has not claimed responsibility for the attacks.
"We appeal to the ULFA to stop all forms of violence and solve their problems through negotiations," said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
The Indian Government has invited representatives of the ULFA for peace talks on February 7 in New Delhi.
The ULFA and five other groups have called a 17-hour general strike from 1 am on Thursday to protest Republic Day celebrations.