blasts criss cross India to the east

2 10 2008

Bike bomb rides to east

Source: Telegraphindia

Agartala, Oct. 1: The lengthening train of blasts criss-crossed the country from the west to the east tonight, five explosions bloodying markets teeming with festival shoppers in Agartala and shrouding the Tripura capital in fear on the eve of Id.

Witnesses said one of the bombs was dropped by helmeted motorcyclists — a tactic used in the Mehrauli and Malegaon attacks on Saturday and Monday.

Three people were battling for life in hospital and 120 others were being treated for wounds suffered in the low-intensity blasts between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.

All five bombs went off in the heart of Agartala. Another was defused after passers-by alerted police to a suspicious object inside a bag.

This is the first time that urban terror has struck in the state. Although Tripura has a decades-old history of militancy, it has been dominated by insurgent groups operating in tribal areas.

Agartala on terror map as 5 blasts rock city

Police say they are suspecting the possible involvement of the Bangladesh-based Harkat ul Jehadi e Islami (HuJI) along with some local militant outfit and a red alert has been sounded across the state.

Tripura shares a 856-km long border with Bangladesh and the porous border has been used before by HuJI for entering India.

The serial blasts seem to conform to a sickeningly familiar pattern

Police say it was crowded areas that were targetted with shopping for Durga Puja and Id at its peak.

Crude bombs were apparently used and timers were used to set them off. The bombs were planted on cycles and motor bikes while two other bombs were recovered and defused.

Blasts ‘kill four’ in India state

Source: BBC

“The markets were full of shoppers as the big Hindu festival of Durga Puja is only a few days away,” said local journalist Syed Sajjad Ali.

Panic

“I was with my wife shopping at Maharajgunj bazar when one bomb exploded. I found seven people lying critically injured and called the police,” Mr Ali said.

Tripura has a history of ethnic tribal insurgency – but explosives have rarely been used in crowded places.

It was not clear whether either of Tripura’s two major ethnic insurgent groups, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), were responsible for the explosions.

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