Hyderabad: India was once again at the receiving end of terror groups when two powerful blasts rocked Hyderabad's Dilsukh Nagar on Thursday evening, killing at least 12 people and injuring 57 others. The death toll is expected to rise considering the intensity of the blasts which were reportedly carried out using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and aimed at causing maximum damage, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) V Dinesh Reddy said.
The two explosions took place near Venkatadri and Konark movie theatres in one of the most crowded areas of the Andhra Pradesh capital. According to the police one bomb may have been placed on a cycle and the other was put inside a tiffin box.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the government received an attack alert two days ago, but there was no specific information. However, a police interrogation report, accessed by CNN-IBN said specific information was provided during the interrogation of a suspected Indian Mujahideen operative.
In the interrogation by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, which took place in October 2012, the Indian Mujahideen suspect had confessed doing reconnaissance of three areas, including Dilsukh Nagar, in Hyderabad. However, it is not known if the specific bit of information was passed on the Hyderabad police.
"IEDs were used in the two bomb blasts which were acts of terror and were aimed at causing maximum damage," said the Andhra Pradesh DGP. The seriously injured would be shifted to corporate super-speciality hospitals in the city for better treatment if needed, he said. Noting that the entire area has been sanitised after the blast, he appealed to the people not to panic and believe in rumours.
Meanwhile, personnel of National Investigation Agency (NIA), stationed in Hyderabad, visited the scene and picked up clues from burnt two-wheelers.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar, who visited the site shortly after the blasts, termed them as shocking. "What happened in Hyderabad is shocking...innocent people have been killed...the state government has reacted swiftly," he said. The Chief Minister announced a compensation of Rs 6 lakh each for the families of those killed in the blast, and assured that the government would bear the expense of the treatment of those who got injured. He termed the Hyderabad blasts as "an act of the coward", asserting that those responsible would soon be brought to book.
Referring to the serial blasts, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said IG NIA and probe team of NSG had been flown from Delhi by a special BSF plane. He said that high alert had been issued in Delhi, Mumbai and several other states, but maintained that there was no information on who carried out the explosions.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condemned the blasts. The Prime Minister also sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those killed in the incident, and Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured. The Prime Minister also directed the central agencies to extend all possible help to the Andhra Pradesh state authorities in relief operations. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi also condemned the blasts and expressed her sorrow.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh termed the blasts as most unfortunate and expressed his grief for those who lost their lives and their loved ones in the terror attack. Expressing confidence into the government for providing all assistance to those hit by the terror attack, the BJP president said that a thorough inquiry should be conducted into the blasts. Former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu said that the blasts were unfortunate and condemnable.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Kiran Rao said the situation in the Andhra Pradesh capital was very chaotic. "This is not a time to have political divisions...this is an attack on our country and democracy, we all are together," said Kiran Rao.
The United States also strongly condemned the blasts and offered assistance in investigation if requested by the Indian government. "We condemn the cowardly attack in Hyderabad, India, in the strongest possible terms, and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected and to the people of India," the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.
Dilsukh Nagar, the area were the incident took place is a crowded area in Hyderabad, and one of the main commercial areas of the city. Gaddianaram market in Dilsukh Nagar is the biggest in Andhra Pradesh. The blast took place near the main bus stand near Hyderabad-Mumbai highway.
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Previous instances of blasts in Hyderabad:
2002: 2 killed in blast at Sai Baba Temple, Dilsukh Nagar
May 18, 2007: 14 killed in blast at Mecca Masjid
August 25,2007: 42 killed in two blasts at Gokul Chat shop
August 26, 2007: Police find 19 unexploded blasts
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)Tweets about "#hyderabadblasts"