updated 11/5/2006 3:28:09 PM ET 2006-11-05T20:28:09

Two blasts killed at least eight people and wounded 20 others in India’s remote northeast on Sunday, police said.

The first explosion struck a crowded marketplace in Gauhati, the capital of Assam state, killing five people and wounding 15, Deepak Narayan Dutt, Assam state director-general of police, told The Associated Press.

The second blast hit another residential district of the city about 30 minutes later and left at least three people dead and five wounded, Dutt said.

The Press Trust of India news agency put the death toll at 10.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility, but Dutt blamed the United Liberation Front of Asom rebels for the attacks. “It is the handiwork of the ULFA militants,” he said.

Dutt said police killed three ULFA leaders on Friday in eastern Assam state, and “it looks like a retaliatory strike.”

The ULFA has been fighting for more than two decades for Assam’s separation from India. The insurgency has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The ULFA rebels have stepped up attacks since the federal government called off a truce in September amid deadlocked peace talks with the group’s representatives.

The government unilaterally announced the truce with ULFA in August as a goodwill gesture.

Insurgents want independence for Assam, saying the federal government exploits the state’s rich natural resources while neglecting the region’s development.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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