Terror attack: Powerful blast outside Delhi High Court kills 11

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Terror revisited the heart of the Capital on Wednesday morning when a powerful bomb ripped through a crowded reception area at one of the entrances to the Delhi High Court, killing at least 11 and injuring 76, 2 among whom are serious.

The terror attack, from a sophisticated explosive device, had a precursor less than four months ago – on May 25 – when a low-intensity bomb went off in the same area, though outside a different gate.

Questions have been raised in police circles whether that blast was an attempt to gauge the area's preparedness to ward off terror as well as its vulnerability.

Police officials said the bomb went off at 10.15 am outside gate 5 which was jampacked with visitors waiting for entry passes.

Condemning the "terrorist attack", Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha it was not immediately possible to identify the group behind the High Court blast.

He said the investigation would be handed over to the National Investigative Agency (NIA). Chidambaram also visited the blast site.

Television reports, however, said the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) had claimed responsibility for this attack, warning of more if the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru was not repealed.

A 20-member NIA team headed by the DIG has been formed to probe the case. "We are seriously looking into the claim of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) which has taken responsibility for the attack," NIA chief S C Sinha said.

Union Home Ministry R K Singh said the blast was of "medium to high intensity" and created a "deep crater" at the reception area between gate 4 and 5 of the Delhi High Court.

Asked whether the blast was a terror strike, Singh said: "It has all the makings of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) set up by a terror group."

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