GAUHATI, India – Two blasts killed at least eight people and wounded 20 others in India's remote northeast on Sunday, police said.
The first explosion occurred in a crowded market place in Gauhati, the capital of Assam state, and the second in another residential district of the city half an hour later, Deepak Narayan Dutt, Assam state director-general of police, told The Associated Press.
Fifteen of the injured were hospitalized in critical condition, Dutt said, adding the attackers used improvised explosive devices.
No one immediately claimed responsibility. However, Dutt blamed the United Liberation Front of Asom rebels for the attacks. "It is the handiwork of the ULFA militants," he said.
Dutt said police killed three ULFA leaders on Friday in eastern Assam state. "It looks like a retaliatory strike by the ULFA."
The ULFA has been fighting for more than two decades for Assam's separation from India. The insurgency has claimed more than 10,000 lives.
The market bombing killed at least five people on the spot and wounded another 15, Dutt said. The second explosion left at least three people dead and wounded another five.
The ULFA rebels have stepped up attacks since the federal government called off a truce in September amid deadlocked peace talks with the group's representatives.
The government unilaterally announced the truce with ULFA in August as a goodwill gesture.
Insurgents want independence for Assam, saying the federal government exploits the state's rich natural resources while neglecting the region's development.