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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 October 2005, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Indian soldiers seize explosives
By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

Arms cache. Photo: Pradeep Pareek
The haul included 710 gelatine sticks. Photo: Pradeep Pareek
Indian troops say they have seized a huge cache of explosives from a railway station in the town of Dimapur in the north-eastern state of Nagaland.

Troops made the find when they stopped a local tribesman on the tracks.

More than 40 people were killed when Dimapur station and a nearby market were bombed in October last year.

There has been separatist violence in Nagaland for 50 years but despite last October's bombing it remains relatively peaceful amid an eight-year ceasefire.


Two soldiers say they challenged a tribesman pulling a heavy bag across the tracks at the station. The tribesman ran, dropping the bag.

Later an auto-rickshaw driver reported that someone had hired him and left a bag in his vehicle.

"We opened both the bags and found 710 gelatine sticks, 800 detonators and 60 metres of fuse wire," said RS Dadwal, commandant of the 31st Assam Rifles battalion.

He said soldiers chased the tribesman before the man disappeared into the market.

"The tribesman negotiated a rate with [the auto-rickshaw driver] for a few minutes before leaving a bag and going back to the station to get his second bag," the commandant said.

He said soldiers were unable to fire because the area was very crowded and civilians may have been hurt.

The commandant said the tribesman had disembarked from a train coming from the town of Lumding in Assam and was heading for Upper Assam's Tinsukia town.

Last year's twin explosions in Dimapur left 44 dead on 2 October. It is still not clear who carried out the bombings.

However, Nagaland remains relatively peaceful because both factions of the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagaland are negotiating with the Indian government and a truce has been holding for eight years.

The separatist leaders are nevertheless unhappy with what they describe as a "lack of progress" in talks.

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