2 bomb blasts in India kill at least 42

first_imgRELIGION: An official suggests that Bangladesh-based Islamic extremists may be responsible. By Omer Farooq THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HYDERABAD, India – A pair of bombings minutes apart tore through a popular family restaurant and an outdoor arena Saturday night, killing at least 42 people in this southern Indian city plagued by Hindu-Muslim tensions. An official said today that Bangladesh- based Islamic extremists could have been behind the attacks. “Available information points to the involvement of terrorist organizations based in Bangladesh,” said Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the chief minister for Andhra Pradesh state, where Hyderabad is located. Reddy did not name the group, but Indian media reports, quoting unnamed security officials, identified it as Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami. The restaurant was destroyed by the bomb placed at the entrance. Blood-covered tin plates and broken glasses littered the road outside. The other blast struck a laser show at an auditorium in Lumbini park, leaving pools of blood and dead bodies between rows of seats punctured by shrapnel. Some seats were hurled 100 feet. “We heard the blast and people started running out past us. Many of them had blood streaming off them,” said P.K. Verghese, the security manager at the laser show. “It was complete chaos. We had to remove the security barriers so people could get out.” Most of the dead were killed in the Gokul Chat restaurant at Hyderabad’s Kothi market, said K. Jana Reddy, the state home minister. By this morning, the death toll had risen to 42 as victims succumbed to injuries. Some 50 people were injured in the two blasts. Hindu-Muslim animosity runs deep in Hyderabad, where a bombing at a historic mosque killed 11 people in May. Another five people died in subsequent clashes between security forces and Muslim protesters angered by what they said was a lack of police protection. Two other bombs were defused in the city Saturday, one under a footbridge in the busy Bilsukh Nagar commercial area, and another in a movie theater in the Narayanguba neighborhood, a police official said. Late-night movie showings were canceled across the city. More than 80 percent of India’s 1.1 billion people are Hindu and 13 percent are Muslim. But in Hyderabad, Muslims make up 40 percent of the population of 7 million. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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