Bomb blasts in India

Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:03 pm
Pakistan militant Islamists are usually blamed for the bomb blasts. I can see that in Mumbai or in Delhi. In Hyderabad's case, I am not convinced. THere is a long history of local Hindu-Muslim animosity and attacks. I've been in the neighborhoods, witnessed one fight in front of the Mosque (one of the biggest in the world). It's sad and unnerving. I have many good friends in Hyderabad. On Saturdays, we usually took workshop participants to the Lumbini Park for boating and for the laser show. That's where one of the bomb blasts was. Usually the workshop happens at exactly this time. Luckily this year it starts in September.

At least 34 people killed in blasts in Hyderabad
Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:27 PM IST

HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Three explosions within minutes, one at a street-side food stall and two in an amusement park, killed at least 34 people in Hyderabad on Saturday, police and officials said.

More than 50 people were wounded in the blasts in a city with a history of communal violence, and where nearly a dozen people were killed when a mosque was bombed in May.

Officials said at least one of Saturday evening's blasts was likely to have been a bomb.

"I will be able to confirm that around 34 have been reported dead," R.V. Chandravadan, one of the city's top officials, told the NDTV television channel.

A senior police officer told Reuters the two blasts occurred within 10 minutes of each other.

"The blasts took place almost simultaneously and we are still counting the number of dead," Balwinder Singh, Hyderabad's commissioner of police, told reporters.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and expressed concern for the welfare of those affected, and state government officials said the blasts appeared to be terrorist attacks.

In the last few years a series of bomb blasts have hit India and killed hundreds of people, the most deadly of which was an attack on Mumbai's railway system last July.

Indian police and security analysts have blamed Islamist militant groups in Pakistan for previous attacks and say they have been using hardline Indian Muslims to plant bombs in an attempt to cover their cross-border links.

The attacks have been widely seen as attempts to derail a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan and trigger widespread communal violence -- but they have failed to do either.

The most deadly of the blasts in Hyderabad was at a road-side food stand, where at least 24 people were killed, police said.

The other target was the Lumbini amusement park where at least two blasts occurred around 7:40 p.m. local time during a popular laser show, TV channels said.

"I saw chairs flying in the air along with bodies," said Vineet, a young man who had been watching the show with about 200 other people.

Four unexploded bombs were also found, two in Lumbini and two others in cinemas in the city, which were defused once people had been evacuated, police said.

NDTV showed at least two dead bodies slumped under rows of blue plastic seating in the park, both with blood-soaked clothing.

Several college students were among those killed, a Reuters reporter on the scene said, and friends were crying near their bodies.

The India-Pakistan peace process was launched in 2004 after the nuclear-armed neighbours came to the brink of war.

Hyderabad is one of India's biggest cities and a key information technology hub. It has a large Muslim minority and a history of communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims.

Officials said Hyderabad and other cities, including the capital, New Delhi, had been put on alert.

(Additional reporting by Kamil Zaheer, Onkar Pandey and Meenakshi Ray in New Delhi)
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:10 pm
Seems that the second explosion was caused by an exploding gas cylinder at a street-side eatery, killing at least 11 while the first in an amusement park could have been caused by an "improvised explosive device".
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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:13 pm
exploding gas cylinders started the Godhra train incident and following carnage in Gujarat, where over 3,000 Muslims and Hindus were burnt to death. Things are heating up in Hyderabad. The previous blasts happened in May (just when I was supposed to be there. It was only my boss, as I was avoiding the ex-fiance Rolling Eyes )
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:15 pm
Most probably, dagmar, you've alot more insight view and knowledge about that.

I can only follow the news - this seems to be the latest,

by ZeeNews
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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:17 pm
well, i'll reserve judgment until i know more and hear from my colleagues there. I'm always suspicious by the media spin in India.

Bangladesh's Huji behind Hyderabad blasts: report
Hindustani Times
Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, August 25, 2007
First Published: 22:44 IST(25/8/2007)
Last Updated: 22:49 IST(25/8/2007)

Central security agencies on Saturday said that banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (Huji) militant outfit of Bangladesh was possibly behind the twin blast in Hyderabad in which 30 people were killed.

Sources said that there could be similarities between the explosives used in Mecca masjid blast in Hyderabad in May this year and Saturday night's explosion.

It was suspected that Shahid and Bilal, who were the masterminds of the the Mecca masjid blast were also behind Saturday's explosion.

Shahid is reported to be Karachi and is instrumental in bringing people for arms training from Hyderabad.

CBI has already procured a red-corner notice from interpol against Shahid.
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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:30 pm
Some accounts from latest blogs: Desicritics.org

Several People Killed in Hyderabad Blasts
August 25, 2007
Nyayapati Gautam
I have just got back home from my office at Bowenpally in Secunderabad and have realized that there has been an explosion at Lumbini Park in Hyderabad.

Thanks to a lengthy chat that I had with my colleague Arkss I was delayed at work and therefore hitched a ride with RP upto Himayatnagar. I then happened to take the route via Koti where 15-20 minutes earlier there was another blast. This time at the well-known Gokul Chat.

While there, I happened to interact with someone who was at the site when the blast took place and he mentioned that there could have been at least 20-25 people who took a direct hit and lost their lives. He talked about how people (shopkeepers, shoppers etc.) swung into action and put the injured into autorickshaws and sent them to the Gandhi and Osmania hospitals.

By the time I was walking past the site the Fire Tenders had arrived and the police had cordoned off the area. Yet I noticed that Ambulances were finding it difficult to get through because of the dense traffic and also because the bloody ordinary Hyderabadi refuses to give way even to an Ambulance. I noticed a couple of the Ambulances getting caught even as I was traveling towards Koti but obviously, at that point, did not know the gravity of the issue.

While I was at the accident site (at the time of writing it is still not clear if the blast at Gokul Chat was caused by a cylinder explosion or by a bomb blast) I noticed that the police had more or less gained control over the situation.

But what really saddened me was the behaviour of some of the people at the site. While at the time that I passed by Gokul Chat there was not much the general citizen could have done to help the injured, surely there was no need to block the other side of the road and gawk as if there was a film-shooting going on.

This crowd was also impeding the free flow of traffic that caused a traffic pile up at the Koti Women's College end leading to a further delay in Ambulances traveling from the Chaderghat side getting to the spot.

That we don't do much to help our fellow citizen is bad enough (I am obviously including myself here) but if we are the reason why a badly injured person can't be taken to hospital in double quick time then there is a problem somewhere in the way we as a community/nation behave.

I know that this post is fairly disjointed but then again I have probably not been as disturbed as I am now.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims many of whom cannot possibly be identified right away and hope they somehow find the strength to deal with this tragedy. And I really really hope that the number of fatalities does not rise over night.

But seriously this has put in perspective a lot of things for me. If I had walked past that place 20 minutes earlier then I too would have been lying in a pool of blood. And there I was an hour earlier, in office, talking about my future.

As if I control anything.
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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:33 pm

Blasts in Hyderabad
Posted by gibgnab on August 25th, 2007

Yet another series of blasts in Hyderabad. It's very shocking to hear about the blasts happening in Hyderabad, when you know your family is there in the city. Just called up Mom and Dad and they said they are fine. But it seems dad was exactly in the place where the blast happened just one hour before the bomb exploded. It really scared me. I asked Dad to be careful.

The Hyderabad that I grew up in was always a peaceful city. A city of lazy traffic, engineering dreams, hussain sagar lake, friends, school and so many other things. But recently in 2006 there were blasts near the famous Mecca Masjid and today the blast took off at two most prominent places in the city where people flock around for the weekend. So many innocent lives have been taken away. My heart really goes out to the people who have died today. My condolences to the grieving families.

My prayers to God that hope violence takes a back seat in the future and all the people around the world live in peace like brothers and sisters.
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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:38 pm
I would love to hear from our Indian friends - spidergal, sakhi, vinsan, and others.... about how the news resonates with them and their surroundings.
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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 12:40 pm
IF I were doing the workshop this year, it would have been these two weeks in Hyderabad. I would have been in Lumbini park today. I guess i'll need to do some processing of this.

here are some pics from the Lumbini laser show: http://groups.msn.com/dagmaraka/indiajanuary2007.msnw?Page=6 (they made it more secure, so i no longer know how to post pics from MSN groups)

and this is the Kothi area near Char Minar and the Mosque... Always crowded...it's the bangles mecca, that's where you go buy them. Trinkets, jewelry, sarees, stuff....

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Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 11:20 pm
Reports about other bombs being found around Hyderabad

Even as a red alert was sounded all over Andhra Pradesh, the police defused a bomb in Malakpet, that appeared to be similar to the bomb that went off at Koti.

There were also reports of explosive material being found in Dilsukhnagar area and Moosarambagh as well.

The serial blasts come hardly three months after the terror attack at the Mecca Masjid.

Why is Hyderabad becoming a soft target for terror attacks?

While that's a question that investigating agencies will have to probe and answer, the immediate task is to ensure all security measures are taken to restore public confidence and ensure matters don't get out of hand.

Blast probe

No outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the blasts, but reports suggest the banned militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami militant could be involved.

Teams from the Centre and various states have begun reaching Hyderabad to investigate the twin blasts in the heart of the city.

A Central Home Ministry team from Delhi will be in Hyderabad on Sunday to review the situation. A CBI team is already probing the attacks and an Anti Terror Squad team from Maharashtra is also expected in Hyderabad.

Investigative agencies are examining the possible role of Mohammed Abdul Sahed alias Bilal also believed to be behind the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in May.

Bilal, who took over the command of HUJI on October 12, 2005, has been on the list of most wanted terrorists

Bilal, who is believed to be in Karachi, is also wanted for the blasts on the Samjhauta Express in February that left 68 people dead.

According to reports, mobile phones may have been used to trigger the twin blasts in Hyderabad. Cell phones were used in the Mecca Masjid blasts in May.

Time devices may have been used in Saturday's twin blasts. Such devices were used in the Mecca Masjid blast in May.

According to investigators, Neogel 90, an emulsifier manufactured in Nagpur and Ammonium Nitrate both class 2 explosives, were used in the explosive devices in Koti blast.
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Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 01:43 am

Glad your family are ok.
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Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 06:42 am
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 07:38 am
Chronology of major bombings in India

-- The Associated Press

Published: August 25, 2007
Last Modified: August 26, 2007 at 04:54 AM

Some major bombings in India:

Aug. 25, 2007: Bombs rip through crowded public areas in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing at least 42 people.

- May 2007: A bomb at a historic Hyderabad mosque kills 11 people.

- February 2007: Bombs detonate on train headed through northern India for Pakistan, killing 68 people.

- September 2006: At least 30 people are killed and 100 injured in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon in western India.

- July 2006: Seven bombs on Mumbai commuter trains kill more than 200 and injure more than 700 others.

- March 2006: Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi kill 20 people. Kashmiri militants are blamed.

- October 2005: Three bombs placed in busy New Delhi markets one day before a major Hindu festival kill 62 people and wound hundreds. India blames Kashmiri militants.

- August 2003: Two taxis packed with explosives blow up outside a Mumbai tourist attraction and a busy market, killing 52 and wounding more than 100.

- March 1993: Muslim underworld figures tied to Pakistani militants allegedly carry out a series of bombings on Mumbai's stock exchange along with trains, hotels and gas stations in the city, killing 257 people and wounding more than 1,100.
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Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 01:58 pm
Grrrrrrrr, I HATE Indian media. Now they're talking about Naxalite links, while there is absolutely nothing so far to support that. The only link that police talked about was with a Bengali based group, which has nothing to do with naxalites. Plus, anybody inconvenient to the government and their cronies gets labeled a naxalite or a Maoist insurgent. Including all of North-east, where the struggle is primarily ethnically defined and goal is self-determination. Not that any sort of insurgency is good, but the spinoffs and easy enemy that the media helps the political parties to point fingers to are just sickening.

Naxalite or Naxalism is an informal name given to radical, often violent, revolutionary communist groups that were born out of the Sino-Soviet split in the Indian communist movement. Ideologically they belong to various trends of Maoism. Initially the movement had its epicentre in West Bengal. In recent years, they have spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).[1] The CPI (Maoist) and some other Naxal factions are considered terrorists by the Government of India and various state governments in India.[2]

Naxal link to Hyderabad blasts emerge
NDTV Correspondent
Sunday, August 26, 2007 (Hyderabad)
NDTV has learnt that investigators have sufficient grounds to look into a Naxal involvement into Saturday's blasts in Hyderabad in which 40 people were killed.

Such a deadly Naxal attack in the heart of Hyderabad could put severe political pressure on the Congress, both at the Centre and the state.

Meanwhile, a day after the twin blasts, Home Minister Shivraj Patil confirmed there was some intelligence available on a possible attack.

Patil said that in a country as large as ours even with intelligence information it is often impossible to predict where terrorists will strike.

''We have to create an ambience where such things don't happen. We must take timely action on intelligence inputs. All of us have to be vigilant, help each other and avoid recriminations,'' Patil said.

Though Patil refused to name any groups, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy indicated the involvement of the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami behind the blasts.

Bodies identified

The bodies of 39 of the 40 blast victims have been identified. Many of the bodies have been sent to their relatives across India.

Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet announced compensation and a job to each family that lost a breadwinner in the twin blasts.

Among those who lost their lives were seven students of the Amritvahini Engineering College in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.

The students, who were in the city on a study tour, were watching the laser show at Lumbini when the blast occurred. Five other students have been injured.

The bodies of the students were flown to Pune on Sunday evening. Some of the students were not from Maharashtra and their bodies have been flown back as well.

The political fallout of the blasts has been on predictable lines.

The BJP has demanded a return of tough laws like the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the state opposition has demanded the chief minister's resignation.

The demands have been rejected.

Investigators are now at a Nagpur factory where the explosives used in Hyderabad are believed to have been sourced.
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Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 02:05 pm
dlowan wrote:

Glad your family are ok.

They're ok...and now my mother has good grounds for telling me "I told you so!" .She always worries when I go to India or Cambodia. Knowing that had I been doing the same workshop like last year (which I almost did), I'd be there during the blast in the Lumbini park yesterday doesn't help. I guess I'll just travel clandestinely when I go next.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 02:05 pm
The Hindu:
: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said here on Sunday that there were Bangladeshi and Pakistani connections to the twin explosions that rocked Hyderabad on Saturday leaving 40 dead and 54 injured, although police have not announced any breakthrough in its investigations.

The Home Department, however, confirmed that it had obtained vital clues and was coordinating with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to obtain further leads about the persons responsible for the attack. The Union Home Ministry has deputed its Special Secretary, M. L. Kumawat, to assist the State police. The police have constituted seven teams to conduct the investigations.
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Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 02:08 pm
grrr. how convenient. pakistani and bangladeshi connections confirmed by the chief minister even though police has no conclusive evidence of any sort yet...

...indian political scene is by far the most repulsive among the democracies of this world. yes, it's far worse than the U.S. administration. They stir conflict and live off of it.
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Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 05:14 pm
I wondered how were dealing with this when I heard the news..... I'll catch up....
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Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 11:00 am
FINALLY, a good round-up of press coverage on the events in Hyderabad, with links and stuff. From Christian Science Monitor- I have to say their international news coverage is most impressive. Whenever I'm googling something of interest to me, CSM comes up first and with more thorough reportage than NYT or WP or any other main US sources

For links, see the whole article: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0827/p99s01-duts.html

Hindu-Muslim ties in spotlight in wake of Hyderabad bombings
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 12:19 pm
[I like the BBC better .... and if only because they probide links to different news sources.]
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