Hyderabad Again


Bombs kept on bicycles outside two cinemas * Ammonium nitrate and ball bearings found

Terror revisited Hyderabad on Thursday as two powerful bombs ripped through a busy street junction in the Dilsukhnagar area of the city during the evening rush hour, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 80.

The bombs were kept in tiffin boxes inside rexine bags that were placed on bicycles parked outside two popular cinema halls, Venkatadri and Konark, where new films are released on Thursdays.

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The blasts are the first in the country since the four low-intensity serial explosions in the heart of Pune on August 1 last year. Only one man was injured in those crude bomb blasts.

Hyderabad was last targeted on August 25, 2007, when two near-simultaneous explosions killed 42 people and injured more than 50. Those explosions took place at Lumbini amusement park and Gokul Chat Bhandar.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said in Delhi that the Centre had some intelligence about the possibility of an attack and it had been passed on to the states but the information was not specific.

On Thursday, the first bomb went off near a mobile phone shop outside Konark at 6.55 pm and the second outside Venkatadri three minutes later, Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy said. They were so powerful that facades, concrete and metal-fronts of most shops and businesses within 100 metres disintegrated. Five among the injured were critical.

Police have recovered two mangled bicycles which they suspect were used to place the bombs. The victims were mostly those waiting near the bus stop between the two theatres and some who were grabbing a quick snack at an eatery.

The area is filled with people visiting the shops and food joints and those who come to pray at the popular Sai Baba temple about half a kilometre away, particularly on Thursday evenings.

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