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Bomb blasts leave 5 dead, 25 wounded in India

Police say three bombs have exploded in India's restive northeast killing five people and wounding more than 25 others.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Three bombs exploded in India's restive northeast Sunday, killing five people and wounding more than 25, police said.

Five people died after two blasts went off within minutes of each other outside a police station in Nalbari town near the Assam state capital, Gauhati, a local police official said.

The official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said a third blast occurred about five minutes later a few miles away. More than 25 people have been wounded in the three blasts.

India's northeast is beset by scores of conflicts. More than 10,000 people have died in separatist violence over the past decade. The region is home to dozens of separatist groups who accuse the government of exploiting the area's natural resources while doing little for the indigenous people.

Assam's Inspector General of police Bhaskar Mahanta said authorities suspect the militant separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom is behind the blasts. No group claimed responsibility.

Bombs fitted on bicycles
Mahanta said the bombers had parked two bicycles fitted with carriers packed with explosives outside the Nalbari police station, which is located in a congested part of the town. These went off, killing passers-by and wounding the others.

Mahanta said police had received intelligence reports suggesting that the ULFA was planning to avenge last week's arrest of two of the group's leaders.

Last week, suspected ULFA rebels triggered a powerful explosion, derailing a freight train and setting more than a dozen oil tanker railcars on fire in Assam.

The ULFA has spurned the Indian government's offer to hold talks with them on condition that the group give up violence.