June 12, 2006

Rebels set off two blasts in northeast India

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Separatist rebels exploded two
bombs in northeast India on Monday, including one in a crowded
market that killed one person and wounded 11, the latest in a
spate of attacks in the restive region, police said.

The blast in the market took place in the oil town of
Digboi in Assam state, about 400 km (250 mile) east of the
state's main city of Guwahati, they said.

"The bomb was planted in a bicycle and it was a timer
device," said senior police officer Khagen Sharma.

Five of the wounded were in a critical condition. There was
no damage to India's oldest refinery, which is located in the
town, police said.

Another bomb, blamed on the rebels fighting for an
independent homeland, exploded near a police camp in Goalpara,
about 100 km (60 miles) west of Guwahati, the state's main
city, but caused no injuries.

A policeman injured in a grenade attack at the weekend died
of his wounds in hospital on Monday, police said, taking the
death toll from the recent attacks to 10.

Assam, which is rich in tea, oil and timber, has seen
violence since Thursday when it was announced that authorities
would hold a third round of peace talks on June 22 with rebels
of the United Liberation Front of Asom.

Police have blamed the attacks on ULFA, which has been
fighting for an independent Assam for more than 25 years.

But the group has denied its involvement and in turn blamed
the violence on "vested interests" trying to sabotage peace