[Assam] From the Houston Chronicle

Ram Sarangapani assamrs at gmail.com
Sun May 27 22:27:31 PDT 2007

This from the Houston Chronicle/AP

*May 26, 2007, 8:13AM*
*8 killed in market explosion in India


*By WASBIR HUSSAIN Associated Press Writer
*(c) 2007 The Associated Press

GAUHATI, India — A bomb exploded in a busy market in India's restive
northeast Saturday, killing eight people and injuring 19, and authorities
said they discovered and defused a large bomb hidden on a crowded passenger
train headed for the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but police were
investigating whether the United Liberation Front of Asom, a separatist
rebel group, was involved. The ULFA, which has been fighting since 1979 for
an independent homeland in Assam, has set off more than 20 bombs in two
months, police said.

In the market blast, the explosives were packed in a three-wheeled
auto-rickshaw, said S.N. Singh, police chief of Gauhati, the capital of the
state of Assam.

Separately, officials defused a 22-pound bomb inside an unclaimed steel box
that was found on a train during a routine check at a station stop 125 miles
outside of Gauhati, said railway official T. Rabha.

The state government's one-year anniversary of holding power was to be
marked Sunday with public events. A state minister, Himanta Biswa Sharma,
said the festivities would go on as planned.

"We are not going to be cowed down by today's explosion," said Sharma.

Federal authorities have sent extra troops to the region.

Peace talks between the ULFA and the Indian government broke down in
September last year after a six-week truce. ULFA responded with violence,
killing more than 70 Hindi-speaking migrant workers across Assam.

The rebels say Assam's indigenous people, most of whom are ethnically closer
to Myanmar and China than to the rest of India, are ignored by the federal
government in New Delhi, some 1,000 miles to the west. They also accused the
government of exploiting the northeast's rich natural resources.
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