25 killed, over 100 injured as five blasts rock Delhi

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New Delhi, Sep 13 (UNI) Terror revisited the Capital after three years when at least 25 people were killed and over 100 injured in five bomb blasts that were triggered off in crowded market areas of Central and South Delhi this evening.

The coordinated blasts occurred in Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Greater Kailash areas, in close succession in a space of 40 minutes, between 1800 hrs and 1840 hrs, leading to panic in the Capital.

The last major terror attack in Delhi was on October 29, 2005, when 50 people were killed and 70 injured, in three explosions in two busy markets and near a bus stand.

The first blast today occurred in Gaffar market of Karol Bagh, in which seven persons were killed, fire brigade officials said.

This was followed by blasts near the Gopaldas Tower and Palika Bazar (gate no.1) in Connaught Place and two blasts in Greater Kailash.

Five persons, including a woman, died in the blasts in Connaught Place while 40 others have been injured, sources said The injured have been admitted to AIIMS, Safdarjung hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML), Lady Hardinge Hospital and Jassaram Hospital.

Sources said that eight of the injured admitted in the RML hospital were reported dead and five others in critical condition.

Two live bombs were defused in the Central Park area and near the Regal Cinema, both in Connaught Place. There were reports of live bombs being found in India Gate too, but they turned out to be untrue.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil while condemning the blasts, put the toll at 18 with many injured and said these blasts were aimed to bring disharmony and spread communal violence among the people.

Late tonight, police confirmed that 25 people have died in the blasts.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit visited the injured at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Mr Patil presided over an emergency meeting of security and intelligence officials along with Ms Dikshit.

The Home Minister appealed to the people to face the incident boldly and maintain social harmony.

He assured that all steps would be taken to identify those responsible for the blasts and stringent punishment would be awarded to them and said all help and assistance would be given to the people in this regard.

Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal said police and security officials had been asked to beef up the security at all crowded places in the Capital.

The Delhi Government has announced a ex gratia compensation of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 to those injured. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting convened by Ms Dikshit late night. The treatment of those injured will also be free, she said.

She also appealed to the... picking up para seven, line one of DI63, BLAST-FIFTH LEAD DELHI TWO NEW DELHI UNI RL-AR MMG RP RAI2358

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