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At least 30 killed in Nagaland blast

By G Vinayak in Guwahati
Last updated on: October 02, 2004 16:41 IST
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The death toll in three simultaneous (not two as initial reports suggested) in Nagaland's commercial capital Dimapur this morning has risen to 30 and is likely to rise further, officials said.

Fifty others have been injured. 

Officials said 15 were killed at the Railway station, 10 in Hong Kong market and 5 others succumbed to their injuries in Civil hospital.

The bomb was reportedly planted in the station manager's room. "It was a powerful blast, the tin roof of the railway platform has been blown," railway official Robin Kalita said.

Shell shocked Dimapur went on a spontaneous bandh after the blasts.

Meanwhile, state Chief Minister N Rio and DGP have rushed to the spot.

All trains on the main trunk route between Guwahati and Dibrugarh passing through Dimapur have been suspended.

A high-level team of NF railway officials has already reached Dimpaur. This is the second blast at the Dimpaur railway station in decade. The last blast had killed over 15 people in 1994.

Injured have been admitted to Dimapur Civil Hospital and various nursing homes. 

Police sources informed that the impact of the blast was so severe that the entire portion of the ticket counter and platform in Dimapur railway station was damaged beyond recognition. People with mutilated limbs were seen running helter and skelter shouting for help.

Senior police officials and district administration of Dimapur who are clueless about the blast have launched a massive manhunt.

The Hong Kong market that sells mainly Chinese goods was open despite a holiday for Gandhi Jayanti.

The blasts in Christian-majority Nagaland could have been set off by any of several smaller separatist groups that are not part of the truce with the Indian government, officials said.

The biggest group, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muivah), which has fought for a separate Naga nation for more than half a century, has held several rounds of talks with government officials but with no breakthrough. 

Meanwhile, one person was killed and more than others were injured in a grenade blast in Assam's Chirang district this morning.

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G Vinayak in Guwahati