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US Condemns Twin Bombings in India

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."

Police reported that at least two blasts occurred minutes apart Thursday evening outside a movie theater and near a bus station in the crowded Dil Sukh Area of the southern city. Officials say the bombs were attached to two bicycles about 150 meters apart.

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.

India's Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, told reporters authorities had no specific information, but that they had received intelligence on a possible attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.



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."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was previously scheduled to meet (Thursday afternoon) with visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, and the State Department said he wanted to personally convey his condolences.

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.

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