Day of terror in Assam: 62 killed, 300 injured in serial blasts

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Guwahati, Oct 30 (UNI) The deadliest ever terrorist attack today left Assam numb as at least 62 people were killed and more than 300 injured, several of them seriously, in 12 synchronised blasts in the state.

Addressing a press conference here, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, ''At least 62 people were killed - 31 in Guwahati, 19 in Kokrajhar and 11 in Barpeta Road. While one person died during the defusal of a bomb at Bongaigaon, two CRPF personnel were beaten to death by an angry mob at the worst-affected Ganeshguri.'' He announced the formation of a Special Task Force(STF) to go into today's serial blasts, saying the STF would have experts from both within and outside the state.

'' This is a very serious matter and in my tenure it has been the biggest attack. We will not leave any stone unturned to find out the truth,'' Mr Gogoi iterated .

He did not name any group for the attack, but said all anti- national groups were the same. '' For me, terrorists are terrorists.

They are all the same and we will see to it that we go to the root of the same, '' he said.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would visit the state on Saturday, adding two separate teams from the Union Home Ministry had already arrived by a special aircraft to examine the scene.

In New Delhi, the Prime Minister said all possible steps would be taken to maintain peace and bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice.

'' Such barbaric acts targeting innocent men, women and children only highlight the desperation and cowardice of those responsible, '' Dr Singh, who represents the state of Assam in the Rajya Sabha, said.

President Pratibha Patil, condemning the blasts, called upon the people to fight divisive forces unitedly.

'' All of us must stand united against divisive forces. There is no place for violence in our society, '' she said.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari also expressed deep shock at the blasts. '' Such terrorist acts coinciding with the festive season are intended to disturb social harmony, '' he said and urged all citizens to unite in combating the scourge.

Strongly condemning the blasts, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani said the repeated attacks indicated the ''inability'' of the UPA Government to check crime and create a secure atmosphere for people.

He said efforts had not been made to check infiltration from Bangladesh. '' Infiltrators and their masters have been found to be behind many ghastly incidents across the country... Probably the same elements are behind these blasts also, '' he added.

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