Blasts in Guj, Malegaon kill 8

2 10 2008

Modasa Mirrors Mehrauli: Youths On Bike Throw Bag With Explosive: TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Source: TOI

Ahmedabad/Mumbai: In near simultaneous attacks across neighbouring states, two crude bombs hit Malegaon in Maharashtra, killing seven — including a 12-yearold girl — and injuring 30, and Modasa in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, killing one and injuring 10 others.
The Modasa attack mirrored the one last Saturday in Mehrauli in Delhi. In both cases, youth on motorcycles threw a plastic bag containing low-grade explosive, killing innocent bystanders. The blast in Modasa took place on the eve of Navratri on Monday at around 9.30pm, hours after the recovery of 17 crude bombs in Kalupur area of Ahmedabad.
The Malegaon explosion took place around the same time in Bhikku Chowk area outside a building that used to house the SIMI office, leading to suspicion among authorities that it could be a retaliation to the Indian Mujahideen strikes in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi. The blast in communally sensitive Malegaon led to police fighting off a mob of violent protesters. The wounded were rushed to the nearby Noor Hospital and Faran
Hospital. Two of the wounded were reportedly injured when police opened fire to disperse the mob. Three policemen were also reportedly hurt in the violence.

A Hero Honda motorbike, which was parked at the blast site, was completely mangled. Additional SP (Malegaon) Sanjay Patil said the explosion took place on the motorcycle. ‘‘Soon a huge mob gathered and pelted stones at the police. We fired five rounds in retaliation. The crowd prevented the police from entering the area. There is tension and we have summoned additional forces. The exact number of injured people cannot be quantified now, but the mob attacked us brutally,’’ an officer said.

Versions differed. While some police officers said the blasts were triggered accidentally by a cylinder, angry local residents insisted bombs had been planted and then set off. Four companies of the state reserve police force have been deployed in the troubled area. Malegaon sub-divisional magistrate Ajay More said that the situation on Monday night was quite tense.
‘‘Three policemen, including an IPS probationer, Viresh Prabhu, are injured. Prabhu was hit by a stone and has a big gash on his head. We have admitted the policemen to Wadia Hospital,’’ he said.

The Malegaon blasts took place when a special Ramzan prayer was being offered in mosques across the town. This is the second time that Malegaon has been hit by blasts. On September 8, 2006, four bombs were planted on cycles and went off in the textile town, killing 31 and injuring 297 others. Nine SIMI suspects had been arrested for the 2006 blasts.

Residents of Malegaon alleged that Monday’s blasts were a conspiracy to disturb the law and order situation two days prior to Eid. ‘‘I saw people running helter-skelter on the road and youths were taking the injured to the hospital,’’ said Khaleel Ahmed, a resident.

BLOODY TRAIL Malegaon blast: Shoppers were target

Ahmedabad/Mumbai: Monday’s blast in Malegaon took place in the historical Bhikku Chowk area, hardly 300 metres from Mushwerath Chowk, the site of the 2006 blasts. Thousands of women were shopping at the time of the blasts. Bhikku Chowk is located between three mosques. The SIMI office, which is located on the first floor of a building, was functional till the outfit was banned on October 24, 2001.

In Modasa, the area of the blast was cordoned off as forensic experts rushed in to pick samples. ‘‘One person was killed and 10 injured in the blast that took place at Suka bazaar.
Police reinforcements have been rushed in to the spot while injured are being shifted to the hospital,’’ said Sabarkantha district collector M Thennarasan.

Here too, people were out shopping when the bomb was set off. ‘‘This is a minority-dominated area and people were out shopping for Eid. It is Ramzan and Shuka bazaar is usually bustling at this time,’’ said Razzak Khan, an eyewitness.

As news of the blasts reached Delhi, Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta got in touch with authorities in Gujarat and Maharashtra to take stock of the situation.

Advertisements




‘Delhi bombs brought from K’taka’

20 09 2008


Source: CNN IBN

New Delhi: The perpetrators of the serial bombings in the capital had brought the bombs from Karnataka before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Delhi Police said Saturday, adding that one live bomb was yet to be recovered.

“Mohammed Saif and Sajid went to Karnataka and bought 10 bombs to Delhi by train two or three days before the start of Ramzan. But one bomb was detected to be faulty at the last moment and, therefore, was not planted,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Karnail Singh said at a press conference here.

He added that bombs were brought here in ready condition and the terrorists here only set the timers.

However, Delhi Police are yet to recover the faulty bomb. “They have thrown the faulty bomb in a drain near Batla House (in Jamia Nagar here). Then there is a live bomb somewhere near the Regal cinema hall (in Connaught Place) but we haven’t recovered them so far,” said a senior police official.

Police recovered a soldering iron, pallets, a laptop and a mobile phone of Atif, a key Indian Mujahideen leader, from a house in Jamia Nagar after a shootout Friday in which two terrorists – Atif and Sajid – were killed and Saif was arrested.

“It was Atif who used to send e-mails to various people including media organizations (about the Indian Mujahideen taking responsibility for the blasts). He was the main co-coordinator of sharing information amongst various organizations,” Singh added.

A terrorist module of 13 people was responsible for recent terror attacks in India including the Uttar Pradesh court blasts of last year and the serial bombings in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi this year, police said.

Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqir has been alleged to have masterminded the Sep 13 synchronized blasts in the capital that killed 24 people and left nearly 100 injured.





40 killed as blast rips through posh Pak hotel

20 09 2008


Source: CNN IBN

Islamabad: A deadly suicide attack outside the high-security Marriott Hotel in the heart of Pakistan’s capital left at least 40 people dead and hundreds injured.

The attack – one of the worst in Pakistan’s history – caused a huge explosion outside the five-star hotel where families had gathered to celebrate Iftar – a celebration after a month of Ramzan.

A reporter at the scene told CNN that as many as 200 people were feared to be inside the building. Television images showed flames and smoke pouring out of the hotel and bodies being carried away.

“The explosion happened as a car reached the barricade outside the hotel,” said a senior police official, adding that it appeared to have been a suicide attack.

The manager of Marriott Hotel confirmed to newsmen that sniffer dogs detected the bomber but he blew himself up immediately after.

The big bang

The blast was the biggest to hit Islamabad and destroyed dozens of cars outside and shattered windows and damaged buildings hundreds of metres away.

The Marriott chain has its headquarters in the United States. Police at the scene said people were still trapped inside. A crane was brought in to try to get people out.

There was a large crater in the road by the hotel’s heavy security barriers. The street was littered with debris and broken branches from roadside trees and acrid smoke drifted in the air.

The hotel has been bombed twice before, the last time was on January 26, 2007 when the Indian High Commissioner was to host a Republic Day reception there.

But the Saturday evening blast was the most serious in the Pakistani capital since the country joined the US-led campaign against militancy in late 2001.

A Reuters witness said he could see fires in at least two places in the hotel and at least 20 cars parked on the street outside had been destroyed.

Television showed bodies being carried away.

Jinxed?

The attack came soon after Pakistan’s new president, Asif Ali Zardari, had made his first address to a joint session of parliament, pledging that Pakistan would not tolerate any infringement of its territory in the name of the fight against militants.

Zardari is close to the United States and had earlier promised to maintain nuclear-armed Pakistan’s commitment to the US-led “war on terrorism”, even though it is deeply unpopular.

(With inputs from AP, Reuters and CNN-IBN)