Assam twin blast toll mounts to eight

Nalbari (Assam), Nov 23 ( The death toll in the twin blasts in Assam’s Nalbari town mounted to eight with one more injured victim succumbing to injuries overnight. Security forces have stepped up their anti-insurgency operations across the state, officials said Monday.

A police spokesperson said an injured victim died at a hospital late Sunday taking the toll in the two blasts to eight.

Some 54 people are still in hospital with the condition of at least four stated to be critical.

The two blasts took place Sunday in Nalbari town, about 70 km west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati in a span of about 40 minutes beginning 10 a.m.

Police blamed the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) for the twin explosions.

“This is definitely the handiwork of the ULFA. We had intelligence inputs, but then it is not always possible to prevent all their plans,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.

The ULFA denied carrying out the explosions.

A pall of gloom surrounds Nalbari with a sense of fear and panic continuing to grip locals here.

“I might be lucky to have escaped the two blasts as both took place in front of my eyes. But then I lost two of my friends in the explosions and many friends and relatives were wounded in the attacks,” said Haridhan Das, a middle aged vegetable vendor.

Meanwhile, security forces intensified its operations in the area with police, army, and paramilitary troopers, conducting specific raids.

“Operations are on in full swing,” a senior police official said.

A nine-member ULFA hit squad is believed to have sneaked into Assam to stage violent strikes.

The Assam Police have uploaded photographs of the nine ULFA rebels on their website.

“People should be vigilant and help police if they find anyone suspicious or see any unattended bicycles or cars,” the official said.