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At least 12 people are feared to have been killed in a series of explosions on Thursday evening which took place in Dilsukh Nagar bus stand area of Hyderabad.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde confirmed that at least 11 people had died in the two blasts. Addressing mediapersons in Delhi, the Home Minister said that while eight people had died in the first explosion, at least three people were killed in the second blast. He further said that the death toll was expected to rise. The Home Minister also said that it was too early to speak about who carried out the blasts.
The Home Minister also said that the government had information that there would be blasts, but it was not clear which city would be targeted.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condemned the blasts. The Prime Minister also sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those killed in the incident, and Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured. The Prime Minister also directed the central agencies to extend all possible help to the Andhra Pradesh state authorities in relief operations. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi also condemned the blasts and expressed her sorrow.
Referring to the serial blasts, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said IG NIA and probe team of NSG is being flown from Delhi. He said that high alert has been issued in Delhi, Mumbai and several other states. He said that the officials would leave for Hyderabad by a special BSF plane. He said that there was no information on who carried out the blasts.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy termed the blasts as shocking. "What happened in Hyderabad is shocking...innocent people have been killed...the state government has reacted swiftly," he said. The Chief Minister announced a compensation of Rs 6 lakh each for the families of those killed in the blast, and assured that the government would bear the expense of the treatment of those who got injured. He termed the Hyderabad blasts as "an act of the coward", asserting that those responsible would soon be brought to book.
While one of the blasts took place near Venkatadri theatre, the second one occurred near Konark theatre. According to police, while the first bomb was placed on a motorcycle, the second bomb might have been kept inside a tiffin box.
Police are yet to ascertain the number of casualties and nature of the explosions. Following the serial explosions in the state capital, high alert was sounded across Andhra Pradesh, and several cities across the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that at least three blasts have taken place in the Andhra Pradesh capital but the site of the third explosion is yet to be ascertained. The NIA also rushed its team to the sites where the blasts occurred.
While some of those who got injured were rushed to Osmania Hospital, others were taken to some other nearby hospitals.
Reacting to the incident, TRS leader Kiran Rao said the situation in the Andhra Pradesh capital was very chaotic. "This is not a time to have political divisions...this is an attack on our country and democracy, we all are together," said Kiran Rao.
Dilsukh Nagar, the area were the incident took place is a crowded area in Hyderabad, and one of the main commercial areas of the city. Gaddianaram market in Dilsukh Nagar is the biggest in Andhra Pradesh. The blast took place near the main bus stand near Hyderabad-Mumbai highway.
Helpline: 040-23235643, 040-27854771
Previous instances of blasts in Hyderabad:
2002: 2 killed in blast at Sai Baba Temple, Dilsukhnagar
May 18, 2007: 14 killed in blast at Mecca Masjid
August 25,2007: 42 killed in two blasts at Gokul Chat shop
August 26, 2007: Police find 19 unexploded blasts
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