GAUHATI, India -- A string of bombings and gun attacks on crowded markets, a railroad station, and other sites killed 44 people and left dozens wounded in two northeastern India states plagued by separatist groups, police said.
Nine attacks took place in Nagaland and Assam states, both of which have faced campaigns by rebels seeking independence, police said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility, but Inspector General Khagen Sarma, the top police official of Assam state, told the Associated Press he ''cannot rule out" the possible involvement of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Boroland, a tribal separatist group fighting Indian security forces in the region. Today is the 18th anniversary of the militant group's founding.
The attacks occurred a day after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, the state's top elected official, offered a truce to the rebels from Oct. 16 if they imposed a cease-fire by then.
The day began with two powerful bombs that exploded minutes apart in Nagaland, killing 26 and injuring 84, the state's Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio told the Associated Press.
The first blast occurred in the railway station in Dimapur, Nagaland's commercial hub, shortly before a train was to arrive from neighboring Assam state and when the main platform was crowded with passengers, said C. Yanthan, a railway official.
That was followed soon after by a powerful explosion just as shops were opening for business in Nagaland's popular ''Hong Kong" market, said C. Kuki, an inspector in the police control room.
''We cannot say who is responsible. It is still too early," Rio said by telephone from the state capital, Kohima.
Hours later, seven other attacks hit neighboring Assam state, leaving 18 people dead.
The deadliest attack was in the small town of Makri Jhoda, where gunmen sprayed shots at a crowded marketplace, killing 11 and injuring dozens, said L.R. Bishnoi, local superintendent of police. They then killed four more people as they left the market, he said.
India's government is in peace talks to try to end rebel violence in Nagaland.