Central & South Asia
Assam blast blamed on separatists
Two are killed and five left injured in a bomb blast in India's troubled state of Assam.
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2007 17:48 GMT
A string of attacks in January against migrant workers left at least 55 dead [AFP]
Two people have been killed and five others injured by a powerful bomb that exploded in a busy marketplace in Dispur, the capital of northeast India's troubled state of Assam.
Police said on Wednesday that they suspected rebels belonging to the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) were behind the attack.
It came the day after Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, visited the state and offered to talk to the rebels.
Nitul Gogoi, Dispur's superintendent of police, told Reuters: "We are yet to confirm the details of the blast, but preliminary investigation points to the handiwork of the ULFA."
Gogoi said the bomb was placed in a busy vegetable market, near the state assembly and some of the injured included vendors and customers.
Earlier in the day, two civilians were wounded when suspected rebels attacked a military convoy in front of a state government guest house in Goalpara, about 100km west of Guwahati, Assam's main city.
Singh visited the state on Tuesday, which has substantial resources of oil and tea, to meet families of more than 70 people who authorities say were killed by ULFA guerrillas earlier this month.
Singh said the government was willing to talk to the rebels, provided they reject violence.
The conflict - which ULFA says is aimed at gaining Assam's independence from India - has killed more than 20,000 people since it began in 1979.
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