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Feb 23, 2013 at 02:21pm IST

Hyderabad blasts: Sai Baba temple was the initial target, say police sources

Hyderabad: A Sai Baba temple in Dilsukh Nagar was the initial target of the bombers, police sources said on Saturday. However, a visit by Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma to the temple just ahead of the blasts forced the attackers to shift the location of the cycle carrying the bomb, as policemen swarmed the temple, the sources added. In fact, the visit by the police commissioner ended up saving thousands of lives as the temple is thronged by large number of devotees on Thursday, sources said.

The investigators have, meanwhile, recovered CCTV footage from the blast site that showed five men on cycles moving near the area. Sources say that the police are trying to verify the identities of the five.

Meanwhile, several teams of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are likely to visit Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in search of the three suspects that the investigators have identified so far.

The three are believed to be Tahsin Akhtar alias Monu, alias Hasan, and his associates Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez and Wakas alias Ahmed, who, according to the NIA, are key to unravelling the Hyderabad terror attack. The NIA further has Indian Mujahideen leader Yaseen Bhatkal on its radar as the Dilsukh Nagar blasts carry the IM fingerprint - the usage of cycles, the timing of the blasts et al.

The death toll in the blasts now stands at 16 with over a hundred injured. Five are said to be in a critical state and three hospitals in and around Dilsukh Nagar are catering to the injured.

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