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Terrorism

Twin bomb attacks claim lives in Indian city of Hyderabad

Twin bombings in India's southern Indian city of Hyderabad have killed at least 14 people. The country was on high alert after a high-profile execution two weeks ago.

The two bombs detonated within two minutes of each other on Thursday in the busy residential and commercial district of Dilsukh Nagar in the city of Hyderabad.

Federal Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the bombs had been attached to two bicycles about 150 meters (500 feet) apart in a crowded marketplace, outside a movie theater and bus station. Police said many of the injured were in critical condition.

India 'was warned' of Hyderabad blasts

"The total dead are 14, total injured is 119. Out of this six are critical," Home Minister Shinde said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to the public to remain calm. "This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," he said.

The bombings were in a mainly Hindu district of Hyderabad, which has a large Muslim population. They represent the first major bombing in India since a blast outside the national High Court in New Delhi in September 2011. That attack killed 13 people.

India already on alert

Ahead of Thursday's bombings, India had been on a state of alert after Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri, was hanged nearly two weeks ago in New Delhi.

Guru had been convicted of involvement in a 2001 attack on India's parliament which killed 14 people. He was accused of helping to procure weapons and accommodation for the attackers.

Shinde said that the Home Ministry had received intelligence reports about possible terrorist attacks in recent days. He said all of India's state governments had been alerted.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, nor have police made arrests, but newspapers pointed the finger at the Indian Mujahideen. The shadowy Islamic militant group with reported ties to Pakistan was one possibility, an investigator told the news agency Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

rc, ipj/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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