Terror strikes IT city; one dead as 9 blasts rock Bangalore

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Bangalore/New Delhi, Jul 25 (UNI) Terror revisited India's IT capital after three years when nine successive blasts ripped through the city this afternoon, killing a woman on the spot and leaving at least seven people injured.

Police said terrorists triggered nine bombs at seven places within a span of 45 minutes.

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the serial blasts and urged people to remain calm and maintain communal harmony. He has sanctioned an ex-gratia payment of Rs one lakh to the next of kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 to those injured in the blasts. Congress President Sonia Gandhi also condemed the blasts as cowardly acts by people wanting to disturb peace in the country, particularly the region.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said such incidents would not deter the government from pursuing its policy of dealing with anti-nationals in a resolute manner.

According to intelligence sources, the nature of the blasts indicated the hand of militant organisations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba in association with their local SIMI supporters.

A woman was killed in the first blast, reported in Madiwala junction, at around 1340 hrs. Shree Ravi, who was waiting for a bus, was killed on the spot while her husband and son were injured.

Soon, another blast was triggered near a drain in Adugodi in which one person was seriously injured.

This was followed by blasts in places near Mallya Hospital, R V College, Pantherapallya near Nayandahalli on the Bangalore-Mysore highway and Langford Road.

The blast at Langford road left one injured.

City Police Commissioner Shankar M Bidari told newspersons that improvised explosive devices were used in the blasts which occurred on footpaths and improvised detonators and mobile phones were used to trigger the explosions. He said the explosives used in two places -- Madiwala and Nayandahalli -- were powerful in nature, while crude devices were used in other areas.

He said police recovered explosive material at the park in Rajaram Mohan Roy road, including sulphuric acid and urea stacked in a pack. ''The materials recovered, however, were not bombs but supportive materials that could have been utilised in making bombs,'' he said.

A senior police office, who did not want to be named, said the blasts could be the handiwork of Maoist groups who were known to produce such explosives made from locally available materials.

Forensic experts and bomb disposal squads were rushed to the spot immediately and the areas were cordoned off by the police.

A high alert has been sounded across the state. A red alert has also been sounded in several states including Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Goa.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the heinous act was intended to trigger panic among people and disturb peace. He announced a solatium of Rs one lakh for the family of the deceased.

Speaking to newspersons after meeting Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur, KPCC President and leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Mallikarjuna Kharge said the State police had completely failed in its duty of preventing such incidents.

The Centre has...Eds pl pick up from line one, para three of DR 45 BLAST OVERALL LEAD KARNATAKA TWO BANGALORE/NEW DELHI.

UNI TEAM RR HS1952

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