Islamic militants behind dual bomb attack that killed 16 people in Hyderabad?

OMER FAROOQ 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hyderabad funeral

A family member waves his hand over the face of bomb blast victim Swapna Reddy while performing the last rites before her funeral at a crematorium in Hyderabad, India on Feb. 22, 2013. Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

HYDERABAD, India — Indian police are investigating whether a shadowy Islamic militant group was responsible for a dual bomb attack that killed 16 people outside a movie theatre and a bus station in the southern city of Hyderabad, a police official said Friday.

The group, the Indian Mujahideen, is thought to have links with militants in neighbouring Pakistan. India’s recent execution of an Islamic militant is being examined as a possible motive for the bombings, said the official, an investigator who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal details of the probe.

Police have not detained anyone in connection with Thursday evening’s attacks, the first major terror bombings in India since 2011.

According to a New Delhi police report, two suspected Indian Mujahideen militants who were arrested last year said during questioning that they had done reconnaissance of Dilsukh Nagar, the Hyderabad district where the blasts occurred. They had also visited various spots in New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.

In a statement in India’s Parliament, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that in response to the “cowardly terror attack,” the government will “make all efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the blast and ensure that they are punished as per the law.”

Earlier Friday, as he toured the site of the bombings, Shinde said there had been a general alert about the possibility of an attack somewhere in India for the past three days. “But there was no specific intelligence about a particular place,” he said.

The bombs were attached to two bicycles about 150 metres (500 feet) apart in Hyderabad’s Dilsukh Nagar district, Shinde said. He said in addition to the 16 dead, 117 others were injured.

The bombs exploded minutes apart in a crowded shopping area. The blasts shattered storefronts, scattered food and plates from roadside restaurants and left tangles of dead bodies. Passersby rushed the wounded to hospitals.

Top state police officer V. Dinesh Reddy said improvised explosive devices with nitrogen compound were used in the blasts, which he blamed on a “terrorist network.”

Pakistan strongly condemned the blasts.

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. All acts of terrorism are unjustifiable regardless of their motivation,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On Friday morning, Indian police with cameras, gloves and plastic evidence bags used pointers to gingerly look through the debris in Hyderabad. Officials from the National Investigation Agency and commandos of the National Security Guards arrived from New Delhi to help with the investigation.

India has been under a heightened state of alert for nearly two weeks since Kashmiri militant Mohammed Afzal Guru was hanged for his involvement in a 2001 attack on India’s Parliament that killed 14 people, including five of the gunmen.

Since the execution, near-daily protests have rocked Indian-ruled Kashmir, where many people believe Guru did not receive a fair trial. Anger in a region where anti-India sentiment runs deep was further fueled by the secrecy with which the execution was carried out.

Hyderabad, a city of 10 million in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is a hub of India’s information technology industry and has a mixed population of Muslims and Hindus.

“This (attack) is to disturb the peaceful living of all communities in Andhra Pradesh,” said Kiran Kumar Reddy, the state’s chief minister.

The explosions were the first major terror attack since a September 2011 blast outside the High Court in New Delhi killed 13 people. The government has been heavily criticized for its failure to arrest the masterminds behind previous bombings.

Thursday’s attack occurred in the same Hindu-dominated area where a blast outside a Hindu temple killed two people in 2000. In 2007, a twin bombing killed 40 people in two other Hyderabad districts.

The United States, whose secretary of state, John Kerry, met Thursday in Washington with Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, condemned the attack.

“The United States stands with India in combating the scourge of terrorism and we are also prepared to offer any and all assistance Indian authorities may need,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a news briefing.

Rana Banerji, a former security official, said India remains vulnerable to such attacks because there is poor co-ordination between the national government and the states. Police reforms are moving very slowly and the quality of intelligence gathering is poor, he said.

“The concept of homeland security should be made effective, on a war footing,” he said.

— Associated Press writers Ashok Sharma in New Delhi and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

11:51ET 22-02-13

[+]

Tags: , ,





Featured

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »

crime-sexually touching minor

West Vancouver police looking for woman who yelled at man accused of inappropriately touching minor girl on bus

THE CANADIAN PRESS Police in West Vancouver are investigating a disturbing incident involving a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl on a bus….
Continue Reading »

Canada-Edmonton-stolen

Canada balks at returning Indian statue of a woman believed stolen from Khajuraho temple

DOUGLAS QUAN POSTMEDIA NEWS  India is trying to repatriate a “voluptuous” 12th-century statue of a woman with a parrot on her bare shoulder that somehow…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »

crime-sexually touching minor

West Vancouver police looking for woman who yelled at man accused of inappropriately touching minor girl on bus

THE CANADIAN PRESS Police in West Vancouver are investigating a disturbing incident involving a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl on a bus….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

A hangman's gallows sits idle at the Benghazi Central Prison on March 1, 2011 on the outskirts of Benghazi, Libya. Inmates broke free of the prison during the uprising a week ago in the city. John Moore/Getty Images

Indian state offers fat pay raise in attempt to attract applicants to jail hangman job

RAMESH BABU HINDUSTAN TIMES The Indian state of Kerala is offering a pay raise worth thousands of dollars in an attempt to attract more men…
Continue Reading »

An Indian woman herds her cattle past an almost dried-up water body on the outskirts of Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Delayed monsoon rains have raised fears of possible drought in some regions with the meteorological department reporting an acute deficit in rainfall in many areas, according to news reports. AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Armed bandits demand north Indian villagers deliver 35 buckets of water a day during drought

BISWAJEET BANERJEE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LUCKNOW, India — Armed bandits in drought-stricken northern India are threatening to kill hundreds of villagers unless they deliver 35…
Continue Reading »

Narinder Kaur Kalsi, who has been on life support, since a domestic dispute at her Surrey home last week has died. Kalsi was pronounced dead just before 4:30 p.m. Sunday, said police. Her husband Beldev Singh Kalsi was arrested and charged in connection to her death. — Facebook Photo.

Surrey temple president charged with murder as wife dies in hospital after alleged domestic assault

CHERYL CHAN  VANCOUVER DESI The charge against a former Surrey temple president has again been upgraded after his wife, who suffered severe injuries in an…
Continue Reading »

Sikh American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia is featured in a Sikh American PSA. Screengrab/YouTube.

U.S. organization launches first-ever Sikh American PSA featuring Waris Ahluwalia to combat racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI An American Sikh organization has created the first-ever Sikh American public service announcement in an effort to combat an ongoing “anti-turban bias” across…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Mary Kom’ to have world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival

IANS Toronto – Priyanka Chopra-starrer “Mary Kom”, based on boxer M.C Mary Kom, will have its world premiere here at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF),…
Continue Reading »

Nargis Fakhri

Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri bruised, battered after shooting for “Devil” item number

SUBHASH K JHA IANS Mumbai – “Rockstar” fame actress Nargis Fakhri may be in bed resting it out after sustaining injuries while shooting her “devil”…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan speaks during an appearance on a television show in Mumbai  June 5, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Shah Rukh Khan’s one-year-old baby AbRam likes Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball

IANS Mumbai – Usually parents are cautious about their teenage children, but superstar Shah Rukh Khan is wary of his one-year-old son AbRam, who was…
Continue Reading »