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Serial blasts in Guwahati, 5 dead

CNN-IBN
Jan 01, 2009 at 10:26pm IST

New Delhi: Three blasts rocked Guwahati in crowded areas on Thursday, including one shortly before the arrival of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

The Assam Chief Minister's Office confirmed that the blasts have left five persons dead and 51 others injured. According to initial reports, the bombs were of low intensity.

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Speaking to CNN-IBN minutes after the third blast, Assam DGP, GM Srivastava said, “One person is in critical condition. We can confirm that the perpetrators are ULFA.”

The first bomb exploded in the Birubari area, injuring three persons.

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At least four people were injured when a suspected cycle bomb exploded at Bhootnath locality, which falls on the route Chidambaram was to take, shortly before his arrival.

Three persons were injured in a blast outside a Big Bazar retail chain outlet at Bhangagarh, an upmarket commercial area near the Guwahati Medical College.

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Earlier, an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) kept in a municipal corporation dustbin went off at around 1530 hours IST leaving three persons wounded.

The injured have been rushed to a hospital and they were identified as Altaf Ali, Fatema Begum and Raul Ali, news agency PTI said.

Police have cordoned off the blast sites.

The state witnessed serial blasts on October 30, killing 88 people.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to arrive in Guwahati on Friday before leaving for Shillong on January 3 to inaugurate the Indian Science Congress.

"We have to improve our police force. Yes there are lapses, that's why I want to strengthen our police force. We want public cooperation also so that we can prevent such kind of incidents in the future," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

When asked who he thought was behind the blasts, Gogoi said, "Mostly i think there is ULFA, but I can't say immediately."

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