India blames ‘terrorists’ as blasts kill 42

HYDERABAD, India, Aug 26, 2007 (AFP) – Indian security forces launched a manhunt Sunday for those behind twin bombings in the southern city of Hyderabad that killed 42 people, with officials pinning the blame on Islamic militants. More than 50 others were injured in the blasts late Saturday, which ripped through a packed street restaurant in this mixed Hindu-Muslim city and an outdoor amusement park auditorium where hundreds were watching a sound and light show.

Federal authorities deployed paramilitary forces to the city, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state, to ensure ethnic tensions did not flare up following the near-simultaneous attacks, for which no one has yet claimed responsibility.

“The death toll now is 42. More than 50 people are being treated in various hospitals,” the state’s home minister K. Jana Reddy told reporters.

“The victims are from all sections of society — they included Hindus and Muslims,” chief minister Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy said.

More than a dozen of the wounded were in serious condition.

“One terrorist group or the other, which is bent on destroying the unity of the country, is certainly involved,” said Sriprakash Jaiswal, India’s minister of state for home.

Reddy said “ava