KOLKATA (AFP) - A bicycle bomb that killed five people in eastern India was carried out by militants fighting for a separate state in the famous Darjeeling tea district, police said on Friday.
Ten people were also injured when the bomb exploded late on Thursday in the town of Jalpaiguri in the state of West Bengal. Earlier reports put the number of dead at four but a fifth victim died later in hospital.
A senior police officer said the bomb, which went off near a school, bore many of the hallmarks of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation.
"We suspect KLO militants are behind the explosion," West Bengal police inspector general Anuj Sharma told AFP.
"The blast took place two days before the anniversary of their foundation on December 28." The organisation has carried out several other bombings with devices strapped to bicycles and has also marked its anniversary with attacks in the past.
The KLO wants to create a separate state of Kamtapur in northern West Bengal which would include the tea-growing region of Darjeeling and five other districts, some of which border Bangladesh and Bhutan.
West Bengal is one of India's largest states and Jalpaiguri is some 600 kilometres north of the state capital Kolkata.
The Indian government agreed in July to the creation of the new state of Telangana by splitting Andhra Pradesh, a move that critics said would fuel separatist campaigns.
India has been wracked by separatist conflicts since its independence in 1947, most notably in Kashmir and the remote northeast region.