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ULFA triggers landmine explosion in gas pipeline

The ULFA has stepped up attacks after New Delhi called off the six-week ceasefire with the dreaded outfit.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2006 10:05 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Separatist guerrillas have blown up a natural gas pipeline in Assam, the latest in a string of attacks after New Delhi called off a six-week ceasefire last week, officials said on Saturday.

A police spokesperson said militants suspected to be from the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) late on Friday, triggered a landmine explosion at a gas pipeline belonging to state-owned oil exploration company Oil India Ltd (OIL).

The incident took place near Salmari in Dibrugarh district, about 510 km east of Guwahati.

"It was a 10-inch gas distribution pipeline and our workers were on the job throughout the night to repair the damaged facility. The extent of the damage is yet to ascertained," OIL spokesperson Phanindra Dev Choudhurysaid from the company headquarters at Duliajan in eastern Assam.

ULFA rebels earlier Friday carried out a grenade explosion at a busy marketplace in eastern Assam's Tinsukia town and critically wounded six shoppers.

On Thursday, seven people, including two paramilitary troopers, were injured in another explosion by the rebels in the oil township of Digboi in eastern Assam.

The ULFA is stepping up attacks after New Delhi on Sunday, called off a six-week ceasefire and resumed military operations against the outfit.

Peace talks between ULFA representatives and the Indian government formally broke down last week after the People's Consultative Group (PCG), a civil society team appointed by the rebels to mediate for talks, pulled out of the peace process criticising New Delhi for calling off the truce.

The ULFA is a rebel group fighting for an independent Assamese homeland since 1979. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Assam during the past two decades.

First Published: Sep 30, 2006 10:05 IST