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Apr 17, 2013 at 02:11pm IST

Bangalore: Blast near BJP office, at least 16 injured

Bangalore: A blast near the BJP office in Malleshwaram in Bangalore on Wednesday left 16 people injured including eight policemen. The explosion reportedly took place near a temple just metres away from the BJP headquarters.

Bangalore Police said that several cars have been damaged in the low intensity blast including a police vehicle. The police added that the cause of the blast in not known yet.

The blast comes weeks ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in Karnataka which are scheduled to take place on May 5. With Karnataka going to polls, the BJP office, located in a residential locality, is crowded with party workers and others.

Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar said, "Five civilians have been injured out of which two are seriously injured. This was an explosion. Investigations have begun. It is an explosion. There was a motorcycle next to the van. It seems to be an incendiary bomb which was placed on the motorcycle."

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh said, ": A team of experts and police is at the site. The whole world has to be alert to terror strikes. It is something not limited to our country. It is a continuous battle. MHA ready to help Karnataka Police if they need. I appeal everyone to maintain peace and not spread rumours. The NIA team is already at the spot in Bangalore."

An eyewitness said, "When I came here, the building was almost collapsing. There was fire everywhere. My mother called to tell me that there'sa huge explosion. Something was planted in the two-wheeler. I first heard the explosion. It could be heard even at 4 kms. People were scared."

Karnataka BJP Spokesperson S Prakash said, "The entire building shook, the intensity was high. We are not sure its a cylinder blast or bomb blast."

Meanwhile, Home Ministry sources said that the blast cannot be taken lightly and that nothing can be ruled out. A forensic team and an NIA team have reached the blast site and are scanning the area for clues.

KC General Hospital issued a statement saying that there have been no head injuries. The hospital authorities said that two injuries include fractures and all are insurgery now and others are mostly lacerated wounds.

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