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Undetonated Powerful Bomb Found at Bangalore Shopping Mall


India, which has suffered a series of urban bombings in recent years, is grappling with the aftermath of the first such attacks in Bangalore. The southern city is one of the world's hubs of information technology and has been spared the type of violence that has hit other parts of the country. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from New Delhi that there is further concern with the discovery Saturday of a powerful undetonated bomb at a popular suburban Bangalore shopping mall.

As investigators in Bangalore searched for clues Saturday to identify those responsible for bomb blasts the previous day, they came across one more explosive device.

Authorities say the bomb at a suburban upscale shopping center, which witnesses told police was placed there Saturday morning, has been defused by experts.

Unlike the eight low intensity bombs that detonated in a 15-kilometer radius Friday, Bangalore police commissioner Shankar Bidri says this one is different - a "high intensity" device that could have caused a significant number of casualties.

"The object contains a microchip, a detonator and explosive material mixed with some oil," he said.

A 60-year-old woman was killed at a Bangalore bus stop Friday afternoon by one of the blasts. Police say the devices were put together by professionals who used timing devices so they would explode within a 15-minute period.

Bangalore, India's high-technology hub where 1,500 companies in the sector are located, has been relatively free of these types of attacks, which have affected other Indian metropolitan centers.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil says the national government is now preparing to provide unprecedented protection for Bangalore's lucrative information technology infrastructure.

"We have decided to provide security to the private sector, especially the IT sector, over there," he said.

The plan is to use the paramilitary Central Industrial Security Force, which usually guards airports, atomic power plants and factories of critical industries.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the Bangalore blasts, although such announcements by groups in India are unusual.

Authorities have not named any suspects but say they are working on leads. Media reports are focusing on the possible involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist group, blamed for previous attacks in India, or the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

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