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Serial blasts in Assam, one killed

Guwahati, July 8 (Calcutta Tube) The outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) Thursday struck in Assam triggering three explosions, including a blast on a passenger train that killed a five-year-old, officials said.

A police spokesperson said the blast at the Garib Rath Express from Guwahati to Kolkata took place at 2.15 a.m. at Babubil in Kokrajhar district, about 270 km west of Assam’s main city Guwahati.

‘The Garib Rath was at Babubil when the blast took place derailing seven coaches,’ S. Hajong, chief spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railways, told IANS. At least 15 people were injured in the blast.

The injured were shifted to hospitals. Relief trains shifted the stranded passengers from the site.

‘The driver of the train and another passenger received serious injuries, while six coaches were damaged,’ Hajong said.

The lone casuality in the incident was identified as Durlav Sethia, 5, of Guwahati. His parents escaped unhurt.

The remote controlled improvised explosive device was planted on the track over a rail bridge, police said.

‘The engine and the first coach bore the maximum brunt of the explosion. The other four coaches just derailed, thereby minimizing the casualties,’ the official said.

‘The casualty figure is less since the train was moving very slowly on the rail bridge.’

Police blamed the NDFB for the blast.

‘A group of about 25 NDFB militants were involved in the blast,’ Kokrajhar district police chief P.K. Dutta told IANS.

There were two more explosions Thursday – both on rail tracks in Batasipur and Delseri railway stations in northern Assam.

The explosions took place even as the Assam government Wednesday sounded a security alert with intelligence inputs of serial explosions by the NDFB.

The railways Wednesday night announced cancellation or suspension of at least six long distance passenger trains due to the threat.

A police spokesperson said radio intercepts of the NDFB revealed a massive plan to trigger a wave of blasts across Assam, mainly targeting trains, bridges, and other vital installations, besides security forces and public places.

‘There are definite plans by the NDFB to create violence in parts of Assam to make their presence felt. We are on full alert,’ Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said.

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