3 blasts in India's northeast leave 5 dead

January 1, 2009 15:49

Three bombs exploded in India's restive northeast Thursday, killing at least five people and wounding about 50, hours before the nation's new home minister was to arrive in the area, police said. Senior police official P. Saloi said authorities suspected the militant separatist group the United Liberation Front of Asom was behind the attacks in Gauhati, the capital of Assam state. ULFA wants an independent state for the region's ethnic Assamese and is the largest of the northeast's many militant groups. No group claimed responsibility. The blasts went off in crowded areas of Gauhati just hours before the nation's top security official, Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, was scheduled to arrive in the city. One of the bombs detonated beneath an overpass on the road leading from the airport, said Saloi.

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