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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Quest For Peace In Troubled Times

2 10 2008

4 killed as serial blasts rip through Agartala, HuJI hand suspected

Manas Paul | TNN

Source:TOI

Agartala: Four back-to-back terror strikes in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, which shares a 856-km porous border with Bangladesh, on Wednesday evening left at least four people dead and 76 others injured, several critically, according to hospital sources. The state police confirmed only one death but said the toll was likely to rise.

The first explosion took place around 7.30 pm at Radhanagar bus stand. Minutes later, there was another blast at Maharajganj Bazar in the heart of the city. The two are about 2km apart. Two live bombs were found at Motor Stand and Colonel Choumohany near the palace compound.
As the injured were being taken to Agartala Government Medical College hospital, another blast rocked GB Bazar, which is on the route of the ambulances taking the injured to the hospital. The fourth blast at 8.15 pm was near Kathiababa Ashram on the outskirts of the state capital. There was a heavy rush of puja shoppers at Radhanagar bus stand, Maharajganj Bazar and GB market, all in the heart of the city.

While Tripura has long been a conduit for smuggling and terror merchandise, most violence in the state had been related to insurgencies of tribal groups. But the blasts on Wednesday, security officials said, were likely to be the work of the Bangladesh-based Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), a terror group which has been frequently blamed for terror attacks in UP and Hyderabad.

Investigators are still probing the possible connection between HuJI and Indian Mujahideen, the SIMI splinter group, which has claimed responsibility for serial blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi in recent weeks.

As in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi, the news of the blasts triggered citywide panic. All telecommunication links were jammed, with people calling to check if their family and friends were safe.

Quoting witnesses, police sources said two persons riding a motorcycle were seen moving suspiciously at Radhanagar bus stand. The blast took place there two to three minutes after they left the place. Tripura police chief Pranay Sahay rushed to the sites to monitor the evacuation but refused to go on record on possible suspects.

THE SAME DEADLY PATTERN

First blast at 7.30pm at bus stand. A few minutes later, 2nd blast at Maharajganj Bazar, teeming with Puja shoppers. Two more live bombs found, one in tiffin box. Both neutralised

Third blast at GB Bazar which falls on the route of ambulances taking injured to Govt Medical College. Fourth blast at 8.15pm on Agartala’s outskirts. Panic hits state capital

No group has claimed responsibility yet. Security experts suspect the hand of Bangladesh-based HuJI. Tribal insurgent groups not known for serial blasts, they say TRIPURA SERIAL BLASTS ‘Timers used to explode bombs’

Agartala: In recent weeks, there have been reports of Islamic militants using Tripura to enter India from Bangladesh. Reports also said that on September 25, central intelligence agencies had warned north-eastern states of an impending terror attack and Border Security Force officials in Agartala confirmed having received the input. Meanwhile, Army sources from Kolkata suspect that Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh used National Liberation Front of Tripura (Biswamohan) in carrying out the serial explosions .

From what the Army has gleaned from its own sources, its officials say the bombs were sophisticated devices. ‘‘Timers had been used in the bombs to carry out the explosions, the way the series of four blasts took place in intervals of five to seven minutes,’’ an official said. There were pellets inside the bombs to enhance the effects. ‘‘Many of the injured have pellets embedded deep inside their bodies. That’s why it is feared that the death toll may go up.’’

Another army source said one of the unexploded bombs found at the Motor Stand had been kept in a tiffin box. As a safety measure, the police exploded it before the arrival of forensic experts. The forensic would now go into the details of the nature of the explosives.