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At least 20 killed in Hyderabad explosions

Publication Date : 22-02-2013

 

At least 20 people were killed and over 80 injured when two bombs ripped through the Dilshuknagar area of Hyderabad at 6:56pm yesterday. The toll is likely to go up.

“We are considering this to be a terrorist attack”, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy said. Some bodies were badly mutilated. The injured are being treated at Kamala Hospital, Yashoda Hospital, Osmania General Hospital, among others. Five of those injured are critical.

The first blast occurred outside an eatery, Anand Tiffin Centre, next to Konark Theatre in the southern province. Nearby is the Venkatadri Theatre, where the next bomb went off a few minutes later. Both were placed in rexine bags and were Improvised Explosive Devices. One was placed on a bicycle and another on a motorcycle.

The area is a very active market and is bang on the busy national highway connecting Hyderabad and Vijayawada. Dilshuknagar has the maximum number of eateries in the twin cities.

Within minutes of the blasts, hundreds of policemen began intensive patrolling, frisking and checking as part of search and sanitisation measures. The area was also cordoned off.

A National Investigation Agency team and an NSG forensics team are being sent from Delhi to take over the investigations.

Police sources said that this could be in retaliation to the hanging of Afzal Guru, but  warned that it would be rash to conclude that Islamic terror groups are behind the attack as the Mecca Masjid bomb attack on May 18, 2007 was carried out by Hindu right wing groups.

Incidentally, in the serial bomb attack on Aug 25, 2007 one unexploded bomb was found opposite Venkatadri Theatre. The other bombs at Gokul Chat and the Lumbini Park Laserium killed 42 people.

The place is also located just over half a kilometre from the Saibaba Temple which was the target of another bomb blast on Nov 21, 2002, which killed two persons.

Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy announced an ex-gratia of 6 lakh rupees to the families of those killed. While the Intelligence Bureau had earlier issued a security advisory a few days back, Reddy said this was a general alert after the executions of Ajmal Kasab and Guru issued to all states. He said special teams have been formed to nab the culprits. (One lakh is equivalent to 100,000)

In New Delhi, officials of Intelligence agencies say they suspect the hand of the Indian Mujahideen in the Hyderabad blasts.  They said the modus operandi adopted was similar to that of IM.

“Some arrested IM operatives had revealed during interrogation that they had selected Dilsukhnagar two years ago to carry out blasts. They had surveyed the area and selected a few spots to plant bombs, but it could not be carried out as some operatives were arrested,” said a senior officer. In Kolkata, police said security has been ramped up in the city and the state in the wake of the Hyderabad incident.

 

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