Bomb Explodes During Festival

GAUHATI, India?A powerful bomb exploded during a Hindu festival in India’s northeast, killing four people, including one child, and seriously wounding 24 others, officials said Friday.

The bomb exploded late Thursday beneath a stage erected for the worship of Durga?a Hindu goddess lionized for her valor?in Gauripur town, local government official Prosanta Kumar Borua said.

Hundreds of devotees were near the stage at the time of the blast, Borua said. The hugely popular five-day festival of Durga Puja, celebrated in many parts of the country Friday, commemorates the victory of Durga over her enemies.

Borua said authorities suspect militant groups or religious fundamentalists were behind the explosion.

Gauripur is 140 miles west of Gauhati, the capital of Assam state.