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Explosions Rock Southern Indian City, Killing at Least 12

  • VOA News

At least 12 people have been killed and 78 people injured in bombings in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Police reported that at least two blasts occurred minutes apart Thursday evening, just after 7 p.m. local time, outside a movie theater and near a bus stop in the crowded Dil Sukh Area of the city. Officials say the bombs were placed on bicycles.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the blasts "a dastardly act" - adding that "the guilty will not go unpunished." He also appealed for calm in the wake of the apparent terrorist attack.

India's Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, told reporters authorities had no specific information, but that they had received intelligence on a possible attack. Shinde was said to be on his way to the blast site.

The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, Kiran Kumar Reddy, of which Hyderabad is the capital, said special teams were searching for those responsible for the attack. He said "it is an act of cowards who attack innocent people and take the lives of innocent people."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The United States has condemned Thursday's bombings in Hyderabad, India, that killed at least 12 and wounded scores of others. And State Department spokeswomen Victoria Nuland said the U.S. is prepared to offer "any and all assistance that Indian authorities may need."

Earlier this month, India hanged a Kashmiri man for a deadly attack on India's parliament in 2001. The execution sparked clashes in Kashmir between protesters and police in which dozens of people were injured.

Authorities have placed Andhra Pradesh on high alert, as well as major cities throughout India.

Officials have announced $12,000 in compensation for victims' families.

Hyderabad has a population of nearly 7 million people.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.