India says warned of bombs that killed 16 in IT hub Hyderabad

Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:06am EST
 

By Shafiq Mohammed

HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - India had intelligence agency warnings of a security threat several days before two bombs went off in a market in the city of Hyderabad, the interior minister said on Friday, adding that the death toll had risen to 16.

Four people were in critical condition after the near-simultaneous explosion of the bombs planted on bicycles on Thursday, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told parliament after visiting the site and a hospital treating some of the 117 wounded.

Hyderabad is a major IT centre in India, only second to Bangalore. Microsoft and Google have centers in the city. The blasts happened in a market near a middle-class neighborhood across the city from the business district.

Shinde faced anger over the attack from opposition politicians who questioned whether the government had done enough to prevent it after the warning. Police said two of three security cameras at the market were not working at the time.

No group claimed responsibility and Shinde said it was too early to make accusations.

Pakistan condemned the attack. India often blames its Muslim neighbor and old rival for militant attacks including a commando-style assault in Mumbai that killed 166 people in 2008.

"Being itself a victim of terrorism, Pakistan fully understands and shares the pain and agony of the people of India," the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Police were deployed throughout Hyderabad to prevent violence between Hindus and Muslims in the city where there has recently been tension between the two communities. Bomb blasts in India have in the past led to clashes.   Continued...

 
Forensic officials inspect the site of an explosion at Dilsukh Nagar in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder