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Saturday, September 13, 2008

30 killed, over 90 injured in 5 blasts across Delhi

NDTV Correspondent

Saturday, September 13, 2008, (New Delhi)At least 30 people were killed and more than 90 injured as 5 low-intensity bombs ripped through crowded, popular market areas across Delhi on Saturday evening.

The police say that a 12-year-old boy being questioned by them may be able to provide clues.

The blasts took place in Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash-I and Barakhamba Road in a span of 25 minutes. More bombs were defused at India Gate, Regal cinema, Central Park in Connaught Place and Parliament Street. Red alert was sounded in the Capital after the serial blasts.

An e-mail from terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the blasts. Mumbai anti-terror squad confirmed Mumbai as origin of threat mail.

The first explosion rocked Gaffar market area of Karol Bagh in central Delhi at 6.10pm. The explosive was kept near a car. The impact of the blast was so severe that an auto was thrown up several feet.

This was followed by blasts in dustbins in the Connaught Place area.

At Barakhamba Road, one of the bombs was suspected to be placed near Nirmal tower. The second blast occurred near Gopal Das tower. Both the buildings house private offices and banks. Another blast reportedly took place in the Central Park.

Two blasts shook posh M-Block market in Greater Kailash-I. Ten shops were damaged in the explosion that took place at around 6:40pm. Here too, the bombs were hidden in a dustbin.

Preliminary examination of the blast sites showed that ammonium nitrate tied to integrated circuit was used in almost all the blasts. Timer devices were used to detonate the bombs. Ammonium nitrate and iron balls found in defused bombs.

According to sources, Intelligence Bureau had warned of more attacks in Indian cities. Warnings had been issued to major cities because after the Ahmedabad arrests, retaliatory attack were expected.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condemned the blasts and appealed for calm.

The Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said that people should remain calm and maintain social harmony. “Let us jointly fight the tragedy,” he said. Patil also announced that the Centre would give Rs one lakh as compensation to the families of those killed.

Delhi government too announced Rs five lakh as compensation for the family of the dead, and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the blasts. (With PTI inputs) End

Serial blasts rock Delhi; 30 dead, 90 injured
14 Sep 2008, 0050 hrs IST, Rahul Tripathi,TNN

NEW DELHI: It has become nauseatingly familiar. Low-intensity bombs placed in crowded markets, killing and maiming children, their parents, unsuspecting shoppers, unmindful of their caste, creed or religion. Within a month and a half of Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad terror blasts, Delhi was mauled on Saturday leaving 30 innocents dead and 90 injured. ( Watch )

In all, five bombs went off in less than half an hour. Two of them in the heart of Delhi in Connaught Place, two at the upscale Greater Kailash M Block market in south Delhi, and one, the most damaging one, in the crowded Ghaffar Market in Karol Bagh. Three more bombs were defused, one of them at the popular Children’s Park in India Gate, indicating the depraved mind of the terrorists.

The Indian Mujahideen, regarded by security agencies as a front of the Lashkar-Huji terror machine, has claimed responsibility for the blasts. The Indian Mujahideen email, titled “the Message of Death”, said: “In the name of Allah, Indian Mujahideen strikes back once more. … Do whatever you can. Stop us if you can.”

This group had sent emails before the UP court blasts, the Jaipur and Ahmedabad blasts. This time, too, it sent an email to media groups, however, 10 minutes after the first blast. And for the third time, it specifically threatened The Times of India for attacking terror.

The first blast took place at Ghaffar Market at 6.10 pm. Soon after that, two explosions rocked Connaught Place, one at Barakambha Road near Gopaldas Building at 6.30 pm and the other near the Metro station at the Central Park at 6.31 pm. Almost simultaneously, a blast hit M-block market in Greater Kailash-I near McDonald’s and seven minutes later another bomb went off near Prince Pan Corner in the same market.

All blasts were of low intensity, and the defused bombs suggest they used the cocktail of ammonium nitrate, gun powder, ball bearings and nails, with timer devices , the same kind of bombs that were used in Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, indicating that it’s the same group that’s wreaking terror across the country.

Eyewitnesses said that explosives at Connaught Place were kept in a dustbin in Central Park of Connaught Place while at Gopaldas building, the bombs were kept in a dustbin next to the bus stand. An 11-year-old boy, Rohit (name changed) who had witnessed two persons wearing a black dress putting two plastic bags inside the dustbin, is being examined by the cops.

Police say the first blast in Karol Bagh was the result of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cylinder explosion. The impact of the blasts in Karol Bagh could be gauged by the fact that an auto was thrown up in the air and got caught in the electrical wires. “The terrorist have used the CNG autorickshaw to maximise the impact and we have so far not been able to find the number plate of the vehicle,” said a police officer.

Eyewitnesses claim that explosives were loaded on a bicycle near Prince Pan Centre in GK I and another inside a dustbin near McDonald’s. All the blasts were of low intensity and ball bearings were used to maximize the impact, said investigators.

In GK’s M block market, the blast took place next to a Maruti car to maximise the impact but it did not explode averting a bigger tragedy. Cops said that a low intensity blast with a timer was used to trigger the blast. The second blast which took place next to a pan shop was higher intensity but shopkeepers and shoppers had evacuated the area by then, reducing the human loss. All the blast sites were popular shopping destinations, and all of them were teeming with people on weekend shopping.

Three unexploded bombs were found later taking the total number of bombs to 8. The first was found near India Gate inside a dustbin at the Children’s Park and one was defused at Regal Cinema Hall which was lying on the road, while another one was found at Central Park, again inside a dustbin. A National Security Guard (NSG) team defused the bombs after they were informed by the witnesses about unclaimed objects. NSG experts were assessing the situation and nature of explosives used.

Joint Commissioner of Police, Special cell, Karnal Singh said, “The nature of explosives and bombs used are similar to those used in Jaipur and Ahmedabad. Chemicals were used along with nails and ball bearings and it was set off using electronic timers.”

The police are scanning CCTV footage of the GK I M block market and at Karol Bagh area to zero in on suspects. Delhi Police say that the Capital was always on high alert but there was no specific threat perception. It had gone down after the terror module of SIMI-Indian Mujahideen ring was allegedly busted by Ahmedabad police.

The Delhi Police have also installed a helpline for victims and any person willing to provide information and seek assistance. People can call on 011-23490212. Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said, “We have got vital clues on the blasts and are examing the same.”

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