Suspect held in Ahmedabad blasts

AHMEDABAD, India, July 28 (UPI) -- Indian authorities Monday held an activist of a banned Muslim terror group in the serial blasts that killed and injured dozens in western Ahmedabad city.

The suspect was identified as Abdul Halim of the group called Ahle Hadees, an ultra conservative religious outfit owing allegiance to Islam's Wahabi sect, the Times of India reported.


The death toll from Saturday's 16 bomb attacks in various parts of the commercial capital of western Gujarat state has climbed to 49.

The blasts came a day after one woman died and at least 20 were injured in similar serial blasts in the south Indian city of Bangalore, the country's IT hub and capital of Karnataka state.

Police said Halim had been sought in earlier riot cases.

A day after the blasts, Ahmedabad police found and defused another live bomb. Also, police in the port city of Surat in the same state found explosive materials in two cars.

All major Indian cities remained on high alert following the blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

Gujarat and Karnataka states are both ruled by Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party, which is also the country's main opposition party.


Ahmedabad was hit hardest by the 2002 Gujarat Hindu-Muslim riots in which at least 1,000 people died.

An Islamist group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen, about which little is known, had claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.

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