Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blast at Delhi high court kills 11, injures 76

NEW DELHI: Eleven people were killed and at least 76 others were injured in a powerful blast outside Delhi high court gate number 5 on Wednesday morning.

The blast took place at around 10.15 am. Home secretary RK Singh told reporters the explosives were placed in a briefcase at the high court reception where hundreds of people come through every day to attend court cases.

At the time of explosion around 200 people, mostly litigants were present at the gate in a quee to get their passes made to enter the court.

There were several lawyers also present at the site.

Later, a mail purportedly written by Bangladesh-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami(HuJI) was sent to some media houses claiming responsibility.

The mail claimed the explosion was carried out to demand repeal of death sentence of Afzal Guru, a condemned prisoner in Parliament attack.

The government is investigating the email.

Severed limbs and pieces of flesh lay strewn on the ground where there were pools of blood after the deafening explosion that dug a small crater outside the reception area. CCTVs to monitor visitors were not reportedly installed.

This is for the second time in less than four months that the Delhi high court has been targeted. No one was injured in the previous explosion on May 25.

Delhi Police have released sketches of two people suspected of planting the bomb in a suitcase outside the court, just two km away from Parliament House.

Special secretary(Internal Security) UK Bansal said preliminary probe indicated possible use of nitrate-based explosives laced with PETN. PETN, short for pentaerythritol trinitrate, is a chemical explosive that has a long history of terrorist use.

The probe into the blast was handed over by Government to the National Investigation Agency(NIA) whose Chief S C Sinha said a 20-member team headed by a DIG has been formed.

Home minister P Chidambaram said the blast was of "high intensity" and called it a "terrorist attack".

The previous major terror attack in the Capital was on September 13, 2008 when a series of five synchronised bomb blasts took place within a span of few minutes at various locations in Delhi. 30 people were killed and over 100 injured in this strike.

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