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Cablegate: Six Killed in Assam Blast

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PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHCN
DE RUEHCI #0189 1761147
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 251147Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL KOLKATA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1578
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1503
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 0662
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 0657
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 0434
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0426
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0353
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0286
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0173
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0115
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0077
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDHP/DIA DHP-1 WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 1945

UNCLAS KOLKATA 000189

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PHUM ASEC KCRM IN BG
SUBJECT: SIX KILLED IN ASSAM BLAST

REF: A) KOLKATA 177 B) KOLKATA 166 C) KOLKATA 149

1. (SBU) On June 23 six persons were killed and nine injured in
a blast, suspected to have been triggered by the United
Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), in the capital city of Guwahati
in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. The death toll
included two minors. The blast, which took place in the
Machkhowa area of Guwahati coincided with the one-day Asian
Athletic Grand Prix in which about 200 athletes from India and
abroad participated. A three-day local annual religious
festival, Ambubachi Mela, was also being celebrated during the
same period. The bomb, suspected to be an Improvised Explosive
Device (IED), was planted on a bicycle and exploded few meters
away from the vegetable market. Police sources suspect ULFA to
be behind the blast, as it was similar to the blast which took
place in Athgaon in the capital district on May 27 that killed
six and injured about 25 persons.

2. (SBU) The State Government of Assam has announced an ex
gratia of Rs. 300,000 (USD 7,390) to the next of kin of those
killed in the blast. On the timing of the blast, a senior
police official told media that "As foolproof security measures
are being taken across Assam in view of the Asian Athletic Grand
Prix and Ambubachi Mela throughout the day hours, the militant
group probably changed their tactics to strike terror." It may
be mentioned here that ULFA has been triggering blasts
frequently in market areas (Fancy Bazaar, Athgaon, Machkhowa) of
Guwahati.

3. (SBU) Meanwhile, Additional Superintendent of Police of
Guwahati Rajen Singh informed media that following the blast,
security had been stepped up in both Sarusajai Stadium and
Kamakhya temple, the venues for Asian Athletic Grand Prix and
Ambubachi Mela respectively. Media sources from Guwahati stated
to Kolkata FSN that ULFA claimed it was not involved in the bomb
blast. In a statement e-mailed to the media in Guwahati, ULFA
spokesperson Major Raju Barua said the group was in no way
involved in the blast that killed "innocent people."

KELLY

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