Death toll in Hyderabad blasts rises to 16

Feb. 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM
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HYDERABAD, India, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The death toll from twin explosions in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad rose to 16 and the number injured topped 100, officials said.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Friday preliminary investigations indicated the two blasts Thursday were caused by bombs planted on bicycles, Voice of America reported.

The first bomb that exploded near a bus stop was followed by a second detonation three minutes later near a movie theater in the commercial district of Dilsukhnagar, Shinde said.

Shinde said the situation was "under control" after visiting the scene Friday, VOA said.

"The government is committed to combat such cowardly terror attacks and it shall make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blasts and ensure they are punished as per the law," he said.

Federal and state investigators spend Friday searching for clues about the bombings in Hyderabad, a robust information technology hub and home to a sizable Muslim population.

The country was on a heightened security alert, as the government's lack of response to warnings of a possible attack raised questions, VOA said.

Opposition parties attacked the government in Parliament Friday for ignoring warnings of a possible terror strike.

Shinde has said the government had warnings of a possible attack, but lacked information about specific targets.

Intelligence experts told The New York Times that it isn't easy to prevent cautioned that it is not always an attack even if there were warnings.

"These alerts are so routine that you cannot act upon these," J.N. Rai, a former official with India's Intelligence Bureau, told the Times in a telephone interview.

"With the use of technology and online communication, it has become rather more difficult" to uncover and prevent planned attacks, Rai said.

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