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Death Toll in India Bombings Reaches 71

Indian officials say the death toll from a series of coordinated explosions in the northeastern part of the country has risen to at least 71 people.

At least 12 coordinated bombs exploded Thursday through four towns in the troubled northeastern state of Assam, wounding more than 330 people.

Police said about half the casualties occurred in the state's main city of Guwahati.

Local authorities imposed a curfew there after angry crowds attacked police and rescue workers, overturned several government vehicles and ambulances, and torched fire trucks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the attacks and accused what he called divisive powers of attempting to break up the country. He called on the people of India to unite in fighting terrorism.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings. The region's main separatist group (the United Liberation Front of Asom, or ULFA) denied any involvement.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the blasts and said there is no justification for what he called "such indiscriminate violence."

Separatist violence in northeastern India has killed some 20,000 people since 1979. The region also has been plagued by ethnic conflict and attacks that authorities blame on Muslim extremists based in neighboring Bangladesh.

Thursday's bombings are considered the worst terrorist attack to hit the northeast in memory.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.