Five killed in three bombings in India's Assam state

Five killed in three bombings in India's Assam state New Delhi  - At least five people were killed and 50 were injured Sunday in three bombings by suspected separatist rebels in India's north-eastern state of Assam, a news report said.

The bombs exploded within a span of 40 minutes in the Nalbari district, some 70 kilometres west of state capital Guwahati, the IANS news agency reported.

The first bomb was planted on a bicycle near a police station and exploded about 10 am (0430 GMT), the report said. The second went off 20 metres away from the police station and the third exploded near a market.

Hospitals where the injured were taken confirmed five deaths. The death toll could rise as some victims were seriously injured.

Police suspected Assam's major separatist group, the United Liberation Front of Asom, of the attacks. The rebels have been fighting for an independent homeland since 1979.

Senior leaders of the group were recently arrested in neighbouring Bangladesh and handed over to Indian authorities, local media said.

India's north-east, which shares borders with China, Myanmar and Bangladesh, is a volatile region where nearly 40 separatist, tribal or leftist armed groups are active in five states.

More than 15,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in the region in the past decade. (dpa)