Indian police defuse two bombs at cricket ground

BANGALORE, April 18, 2010 (AFP) – Police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore Sunday defused two crude bombs next to a cricket stadium, a senior officer said, a day after explosions outside the ground injured eight people, Both devices were found next to the 40,000-seater Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the blasts on Saturday sparked panic among spectators queuing up to watch an Indian Premier League Twenty20 match.

One of the defused bombs was near a gate for dignitaries, while the second was beside a billboard, Bangalore police chief Shankar Bidari told reporters.

“We are investigating the twin blasts that occurred Saturday and the detection of two crude bombs Sunday. No arrests have been made so far,” he said.

The explosives were discovered by police scouring the area after the first blasts, which they described as “low intensity”.

Two matches scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday have been moved to Mumbai from Bangalore, a city which has an international reputation as an information technology hub.

India has been on high alert after a bombing at a restaurant in the western city of Pune in February killed 16 people. Responsibility for that blast was claimed by a splinter of a larger Pakistan-based Islamist group.

New Delhi hosts the Commonwealth Games in October, and the cricket World Cup takes place in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February to April next year.

The Bangal