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India Blast Death Toll Climbs to 16

India's home minister says the government will "make all efforts" to apprehend those responsible for the blasts in Hyderabad that killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.

Sushil Kumar Shinde told parliament Friday "the perpetrators and masterminds" behind the explosions will be "punished as per the law."

Earlier Friday, Shinde told reporters there had been a general alert for the entire country for the past three days about the possibility of an attack somewhere in India. But he said there was no intelligence about a specific place.

Indian police say they were warned a year ago about a possible attack in Hyderabad.

Police officials said Friday two suspected militants belonging to the Indian Mujahideen revealed during an interrogation last year that they had done a reconnaissance of the Dil Sukh district of Hyderabad, the same area where the blasts occurred minutes apart Thursday evening. Officials say the bombs were attached to two bicycles about 150 meters apart.

There has been no claim of responsibility.



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

The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, 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."

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

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