Rebels blamed for attacks on Indian oil and gas pipelines

Rebels blamed for attacks on Indian oil and gas pipelines

Separatist rebels have been blamed for a series of five explosions that wounded at least six people and blew up oil and gas pipelines overnight in northeast India.

A police spokesman said four landmines and a grenade were set off in Assam state late Friday, hours after a bomb killed five people and injured six in Guwahati.

“Two pipelines transporting natural gas and two crude oil pipelines were blown up,” senior police official A. Baruah told AFP.

“Six people were seriously injured when militants threw a grenade at a private residence,” he said.

The explosions at the gas installation in Assam sparked a huge blaze.

“The fire leapt at least 80 to 100 meters (350 feet) and was controlled after more than an hour when the gas valves were closed. The damage was extensive,” said a senior official of the state-run Assam Gas Company Limited, whose pipelines were damaged.

Two further explosions blew up two India Oil pipelines.

“Some operational work will be hit due the two blasts. We are assessing the extent of damage,” company spokesman Nripen Bharali said.

On Thursday, four explosions left 34 people injured in the three districts of Assam.

Police blamed the attacks on the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a rebel group who have been fighting for an independent homeland since 1979.

“The ULFA is behind all these explosions and we had intelligence about a plan to strike terror (in Assam) for three days beginning Thursday,” Assams Director General of Police Dipak Narayan Dutt said.

The ULFA has not claimed responsibility for any of the blasts.

ULFA representatives have held two rounds of peace talks with New Delhi since October with the next round expected on June 22.

Since the start of the insurgency, at least 15,000 people have been killed in Assam where half-a-dozen other rebel groups operate with demands ranging from independence to greater autonomy.


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