M A I N   N E W S

ULFA blasts oil pipelines in Assam
4 die in explosion at bus stand

Guwahati, August 7
Stepping up violence in Assam in the run-up to the Independence Day, ULFA militants today exploded a bomb at Boko, near here, killing four persons, besides blasting oil pipelines in three districts.

A bomb hidden inside a bag on a bicycle exploded in the busy Boko bus stand in Kamrup district, injuring seven persons, four of whom succumbed to injuries on their way to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

A bomb exploded in the ONGC pipeline at Panbishe area of Sibsagar district causing damages and oil spill over two kilometres area. Three persons were picked up in connection with the blast.

Another ONGC pipeline was blasted by the ultras in Dibrugarh district, said sources.

Another explosion occurred at 9.45 pm in a pipeline of Oil India Limited at a tea-garden in Tinsukia district, they said.

They also hurled a bomb at the Dhamdhama Army camp in Nalbari district late last night, but missed the target. The bomb exploded inside the Dhamdhama Telephone exchange. There was no report of any casualty or injury. Only slight damage was caused to the telephone exchange.

“A group of about 15 militants overpowered four security guards who were deployed to guard an exposed pipeline in the area,” a police official said on telephone from Sibasagar.

He said the militants tied up the four security guards to a lamppost and planted explosives beneath the pipeline before detonating the bomb.

“There was a massive fire soon after the blast with at least half-a-dozen huts on the periphery blast area set ablaze. The fire was brought under control after four hours,” the official said.

An OIL official said supply of crude oil has been suspended after the blast.

“The blast was of a very massive intensity and the damage is extensive as the pipeline is used to supply crude to two oil refineries in Assam,” OIL general manager Mohan Bhandari said.

The last night’s blast completely stopped supply of crude to the Numaligarh, Guwahati and Bongaigaon refineries.

The police said that the blast was caused by a China-made bomb and three persons had been picked up for interrogation.

Passengers of the Guwahati-Lumding train had a providential escape when an alert police detected and later defused a bomb planted by the ULFA near Lankar railway station of the North East Frontier Railway. The bomb was concealed in a tiffin box and planted beneath the track.

Security has been tightened near vital installations and railway tracks following the stepped up violent activities of the ULFA.

Meanwhile, a suspected ULFA militant was killed in an exchange of fire between the police and ULFA last night at the Padumpukhuri area of Guwahati city.

Kolkata: Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the Centre had taken a very serious note of the bomb blasts near an army camp in Nalbari and on an oil pipeline of ONGC in Sibsagar district in Assam by the ULFA militants.

“We have taken a very serious note of the bomb blasts in Assam”, Mr Mukherjee told reporters here. — PTI


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