Bomb blast at Assam courthouse


A BOMB exploded at a courthouse in India's far eastern state of Assam yesterday, the latest in a series of bombings which includes a train attack on New Year's eve in which 38 died, the Press Trust of India said.

Bodo tribal separatists were suspected of bombing the courthouse in the Kamrup district. Four rooms were damaged, but there were no injuries.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the fourth in Assam since December 29th.

Thirty-eight people died and 63 more were injured on December 31st when tribal separatists bombed the New Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail, packed with 1,500 people, in the state's Kokrajhar district, a known Bodo stronghold.

The bombing was the worst terrorist attack on a train to have taken place in eastern India, the scene of decades of fighting between tribal rebels and government forces.

Police said eight people had been arrested in connection with the explosion on a bridge near Assam's Rakhaldubi district on December 29th.

The state government has called on the Bodos to participate in peace talks.

Demands for a Bodoland homeland emerged in 1987. An accord in 1993 failed to stem the violence as the rebel movement fractured into rival factions.

Bodo tribals have killed thousands of people in Assam during their insurgency, including some 500 Indian troops and political figures in the past three years.