GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Two people were killed and eight wounded on Monday in a powerful bomb blast set off by suspected separatist militants at a market in India’s troubled northeastern state of Assam, police said.
The bomb exploded on the roadside near a mosque in Guwahati, the main city of Assam state where the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is fighting for independence.
“It appears to be the handiwork of the ULFA,” said Rajen Singh, a senior police officer.
The blast followed ethnic clashes in eastern Assam on Sunday in which five people were killed. The clashes were sparked by the killing of a civilian in an anti-insurgency operation.
A curfew was imposed in the far eastern town of Digboi after Sunday’s violence, hampering work at oil fields in the region which is home to a state-run refinery.
Clashes erupted on Sunday when ethnic Assamese people blocked roads to protest against the killing of a civilian more than a week ago by security forces. An official probe has been ordered.
The blockade restricted the movement of non-Assamese tribespeople who work in tea gardens in the area. Armed with spears and bows and arrows, they tried to break up the roadblocks.
In the ensuing violence, five people were killed, including two who were burnt to death. Four Assamese are also missing, a police officer said.