Death Toll in India Blasts Rises to 14, 119 Injured, Says Minister
By Kenan Machado and Rajesh Roy
HYDERABAD--The death toll in two explosions that hit the southern city of Hyderabad late Thursday has risen to 14,
with the number of injured going up to 119, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Friday, adding that security has been
tightened across the country.
Of the injured, six are critical, Mr. Shinde told reporters after visiting the site of the blasts and a hospital where
the victims are being treated.
Denying any failure on the part of the local police in preventing the deadly blasts, he said the government had
general "intelligence" information but nothing specific.
"A general alert was given for the last 2-3 days to the whole of the country."
He didn't offer more details on the blasts in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state and home to local units
of international companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Google.
Late Thursday, Mr. Shinde said the two blasts took place within nearly 500 feet of each other, and that the bombs were
placed on bicycles in a crowded market in the Dilsukhnagar neighborhood.
Federal Home Secretary R.K. Singh said that "when there are two blasts, it's obviously a terror attack."
A team of forensic experts from the National Security Guard--India's top counterterrorism commando force--and
officials from the federal investigation bureau have been at the blast site since late last night.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and asked people to stay calm. he also directed federal authorities
to give all possible help to Andhra Pradesh authorities.
"This is a dastardly attack. The guilty will not go unpunished," he said in a statement.
India has seen a series of terror attacks in recent years, most notably the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, the country's
financial capital, that left more than 160 people dead.
Those attacks were carried out by terrorists from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba organization.
This past August there were four blasts in the western city of Pune in which one person was injured.
Dilsukhnagar, the neighborhood where Thursday's blasts occurred, is visited mostly by daily wage laborers and luggage
loaders, and houses the Gaddiannaram fruit market, one of south India's largest. The area is also home to an interstate
Police officials in Hyderabad are yet to determine the cause of Thursday's explosions and declined to say who they
suspected carried out the attacks.
Mr. Shinde said Friday that investigations are on but added that it was too early to arrive at any conclusions.
In August 2007, two explosions set off by terrorists killed 42 people in Hyderabad in an attack Indian authorities
blamed on terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami.
A Google India spokeswoman said Thursday that the company's employees in Hyderabad were safe. "We have temporarily
suspended transport drops to that area. We are monitoring the situation," she added.
The Hyderabad office is one of Google's largest facilities in India.
Dhanya Ann Thoppil contributed to this article.
Write to Kenan Machado at email@example.com and Rajesh Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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