Indian death toll rises after series of blasts

Senior officials say 48 people are dead and more than 300 injured following 13 serial blasts that ripped through cities across India’s north-eastern state of Assam.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blasts. The region is torn by dozens of militant separatist groups that have long fought the government and one another.

Senior state official Subhash Das says 25 people died in the state capital of Gauhati. Eleven were killed Kokrajhar district and 12 more died in the town of Barpeta.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene of a blast in Gauhati said flames were leaping from charred cars, bodies were strewn across the road and a thick stream of black smoke was rising above the city.

Television footage showed firefighters spraying streams of water at charred, twisted cars and motorcycles that littered the blackened road.

Bystanders dragged the wounded and dead to cars that took them to hospitals, while police officers covered the burned remains of the dead with white sheets, leaving them in the street.

At least one explosion took place a few hundred metres from the secretariat, the building that houses the offices of the chief minister, the state’s top elected official.

NI Hussain, Gauhati’s deputy inspector general of police told the CNN-IBN news channel that police in the state were on high alert and searching for more unexploded bombs.

“Police have intensified the search for more bombs. There may be more blasts. You never know,” he said.

Worst hit outside of Gauhati was the Kokrajhar district, some 155 miles west of the capital, where at least 10 people were killed, police said.

Dozens of militant separatist groups are active in India’s north-east, an isolated region wedged between Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Burma with only a thin corridor connecting it to the rest of India.

The separatists accuse the central government in New Delhi, 1,000 miles to the west, of exploiting the region’s natural resources while doing little for the indigenous people – most of whom are ethnically closer to Burma and China than to the rest of India.

More than 10,000 people have died in separatist violence over the past decade in the region.

India has also blamed several previous serial attacks in India on Islamic militants from nearby Bangladesh.


More in this Section

Total UK deaths involving Covid-19 passes 50,000Total UK deaths involving Covid-19 passes 50,000

Hong Kong and Beijing hit out at foreign critics over Chinese actionsHong Kong and Beijing hit out at foreign critics over Chinese actions

Tributes for retired police captain killed during street protestsTributes for retired police captain killed during street protests

Food insecurity increases in Burkina Faso amid Islamic extremist activityFood insecurity increases in Burkina Faso amid Islamic extremist activity


Lifestyle

Kim Sheehan is an opera singer from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and is this year’s recipient of the Jane Anne Rothwell Award from Cork Midsummer Festival.A Question of Taste: Cork opera singer, Kim Sheehan

Developed in Ireland by Dublin-based indie gaming house Dreamfeel, If Found follows university graduate Kasio as she returns to Achill, Co Mayo, from the big city.'If Found': a story of belonging from the Irish videogame scene

B-Side the Leeside: Cork's Greatest Records - Giordaí Ua Laoghaire tells Don O’Mahony about the offbeat outfit who created some of the most innovative music on the Irish scene in the 1990sB-Side the Leeside: Nine Wassies from Bainne - A quirky slice of creativity

More time indoors is a chance to consider how we buy for our homes without being slaves to fleeting trends, writes Carol O’CallaghanMore time at home offers a chance to consider how we buy for our interiors

More From The Irish Examiner