10/31/2008, 00.00
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Assam explosions death toll rises

At least 70 people are dead and 300 wounded. Indian bishops have harsh words for the culprits; call for unity to fight the “enemies of peace”.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The number of deaths from yesterday’s series of attacks in the Assamese cities of Guwahati, krokajar, Barpeta and Bongaigaon has risen. Many of those pulled out alive from under the rubbles died in hospital, pushing the death toll to 70 with more than 300 wounded.

The authorities are trying to identify who is behind the Assam attacks, a state at war with separatist and Islamist groups.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has condemned the series of explosions and expressed “heartfelt condolences and prayers for the affected families,” saying that the nation is facing “tough challenges from enemies outside as well as within the country.”

“The anti-social elements are making their presence felt by their inhuman and shameless acts of violence and terrorism. Violence is no answer for any grievance,” the bishops said in their message of condolence.

“This is a time for the citizens of this country to remain united and fight terrorism with firmness,” showing “our strength to the enemies by coming together as true citizens [. . .] thwarting the motives of all those who take the law into their hands.”

The prelates also urged the authorities to catch the culprits as quickly as possible and impose strict punishment on all those who have violated the country’s peace and harmony.

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