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Bombs on bicycles kill over 12, injure more than 84 in Hyderabad

Twin blasts rocked Hyderabad on Thursday evening killing nearly 12 people and injuring over eighty four others. Indian Mujahideen is suspected to be involved, though there was no confirmation till the time of going to press. At around 7.05 pm, the first blast occurred near a cinema hall in Dilsukhnagar area on the busy Vijayawada highway. Thereafter, another explosion in quick succession in the vicinity sent shock waves and panic.

According to agency reports from Hyderabad, initially, gas cylinder blasts were suspected, but the series of explosions, confirmed the serial bomb blasts, said a police officer. According to some eye witness accounts, three explosions were heard.

Dilsukhnagar is a busy commercial area to the south of Musi River in the southern part of city, about 15 km from the heart of the city. Eye witnesses said they heard two loud explosions within a couple of minutes. Police confirmed the bomb explosions but there was no official word on the number of explosions.

The first blast took place near a tiffin centre opposite Venkatadri theatre and the second near Konark theatre. Both the theatres are about 500 meters from each other. According to preliminary reports, the bombs were planted on bicycles. Ambulances and police vehicles rushed to the area. The injured were shifted to Yashoda Hospital at Malakpet and to the government-run Osmania Hospital.

The area was cordoned off as senior police officials and the sleuths from National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau rushed to the scene. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy and others rushed to the  spot. The blasts sent panic in the area, close to Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. Police sounded high alert across the city and launched search in many public places.

Soon after the blast, a team of forensic experts of NSG, the country’s premier counter-terror force, was flown to Hyderabad. The ‘post-blasts’ analysis team has been sent to Hyderabad, sources said, adding experts from the Chennai hub of the ‘black cat’ commandos have also been rushed to the Andhra Pradesh capital.

Meanwhile, a PTI report says two days before the Hyderabad blasts, the Centre had alerted all states that Pakistan-based terrorist groups may carry out attacks in a major city to avenge the hanging of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru. The state police in Hyderabad, however, said the inputs were too generic in nature.  

After the blasts, Delhi has been put on high alert and security beefed up at all important buildings and markets following two blasts in Hyderabad. ‘Security has been stepped up. The number of armed security personnel at all important buildings and markets has been increased,’ a senior police officer said.
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