Guwahati, Jan 2: The year 2009 kicked off with a heartrending incident in Guwahati. The Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, was saved by a few minutes when suspected Ulfa militants triggered a powerful bomb blast close to the road through which he was supposed to travel to Raj Bhavan from Guwahati airport on Thursday, Jan 1.
At least five people were killed and more than 50 wounded in three serial bomb blasts, believed to have been set off by the Ulfa. The blasts occurred despite the heavy security put in place for Chidambaram"s visit. Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is scheduled to visit the city on Friday, Jan 2.
The first bomb was planted in a roadside dustbin at Birubari, and injured three persons. The police said the improvised explosive device (IED) kept in the dustbin went off at around 3.30 pm near a TB hospital.
Earlier, senior police officials of the State said the blasts were of low-intensity in nature. "One person had succumbed to his injuries and 17 people are injured, one of them is critically injured. We know who is behind at least one of the blasts and who might have master minded. But I cannot reveal that to prevent creating problem in the way of ongoing investigation. We confirm ULFA is behind it," said Assam"s Deputy General of Police G M Srivastava.
Three people were killed and more than 25 others wounded in the second blast at 5.30 pm at a market at Bhoothnath on the road on which Chidambaram was to travel to Raj Bhavan. The third blast at 5.35 pm took place under a flyover on G.S. Road. Two people, including a woman, were killed and 22 wounded.
Security sources said the first blast was aimed at distracting the security forces, which possibly made it easier for the militants to plant the other bombs. On Oct 30, 2008, Assam witnessed serial blasts that left 88 people dead.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)