34 people injured in Assam serial blasts

Friday, June 9, 2006 At least 34 people were injured when a series of explosions rocked different parts of the state of Assam in India, on Thursday night. According to the police, four explosions of a very high intensity occurred in different parts of the state after 7 p.m. Those injured in the explosions are being treated at local hospitals.

Police said the first explosion occurred when militants lobbed a grenade at a crowded market in Islampur, 80 kilometres north of Guwahati, injuring 21 people. In the second incident, five passers-by were injured in another blast near the Golokganj police station close to the border with Bangladesh. The third explosion took place in the western district of Dhubri town where three people were wounded. The last explosion occurred in Nagaon, 120 kilometres east of Guwahati, injuring four people, including a policeman.

The attacks come a day after the Central government announced dates for the third round of talks between government peace representatives and an 11-member civil society group from Assam chosen by the militant, separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). The ULFA has demanded the release of five of its top leaders from prison if New Delhi wants to hold direct talks with the separatist group. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said "We have already recommended their release to the authorities in Delhi. We want peace back in the state."