HYDERABAD: Serial bomb blasts rocked Hyderabad Thursday evening, killing 18 people and injuring 47 others, eye witnesses said. Police have confirmed only seven deaths.
The two near-simultaneous explosions occurred in Dilsukhnagar area in the city when it was crowded with people returning home. According to some eye witness accounts, three explosions were heard.
Dilsukhnagar is a busy commercial area to the south of Musi River in the southern part of city, about 15 km from the heart of the city.
Eye witnesses said they heard two loud explosions within a couple of minutes. Police confirmed the bomb explosions but there was no official word on the number of explosions
The first blast occurred around 7 p.m. near a tiffin centre opposite Venkatadri theatre and the second near Konark theatre. Both the theatres are about 500 meters from each other.
According to preliminary reports, the bombs were planted on bicycles.
Ambulances and police vehicles rushed to the area. The injured were shifted to Yashoda Hospital at Malakpet and to the government-run Osmania Hospital. Gory pictures of the victims without limbs were seen. Others with bleeding injuries were shifted to ambulances.
The area was cordoned off as senior police officials and the sleuths from National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau rushed to the scene.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy and others visited the scene. The blasts sent panic in the area, close to Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. Police sounded high alert across the city and launched search in many public places.
The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has appealed to people to maintain calm, saying that the culprits for the dastardly attack will not go unpunished.
The PM announced Rs 2 lakh each ex-gratia to the next of kin of all those killed in the blasts, and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured.
One of the eyewitnesses said: Suddenly there was a blast and lot of smoke a lot of glass shards fell on my head. Two blasts in Dlishukh Nagar chaurasta – 15 people died near Venkatdri theatre. Ananad tiffin centre near konark theatre – we took out 8 dead bodies on the spot even before the ambulance came, then 4 dead bodies were lying there. In my count – at least 20 people have died. Agencies
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