India on high alert: Twin bike bombs kil

February 27 [Wed], 2013, 7:44
A pair of bicycle bombs rocked a crowded marketplace intoday, killing at least 11 people and injuring scores more in the southern Indian city of 6.8 million, a major hub for information technology whereandhave a large presence.

reports thathas gone on high alert after the explosions, which local television stations reportand wounded at least 50. The last major bomb attack in India was a blast in September of 2011 outside the high court inthat killed 13 people.

"Both blasts took place within a radius of 150 meters," federal Home (Interior)told reporters, adding the explosives were placed on bicycles parked in the crowded marketplace. "Eight people died at one place, three at the other."

The explosions come less than two weeks after India hanged a Kashmiri man for a militant attack on the country's parliament in 2001 that had sparked violent clashes.

Witnesses told Reuters they heard at least two explosions in the Dilsukh Nagar area of Hyderabad just after dusk but there could have been more.

Thereports that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters that "" about whether it was a terrorist attack, but that the government was investigating. But the Times notes that the country had already been on alert for attacks due to the recent execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru, a convict in the 2001 terrorist attack on the .

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The Monitor reported earlier this month that Mr. Afzal Guru's death sentence, though handed down in 2002, was carried out on Feb. 9 without advance warning, and appears .

The execution is being seen by analysts as the ruling Congress partys way of regaining public confidence in the wake of several corruption scandals and protests over the recentgang-rape. Political commentator Seema Mustafa says the sudden decision to execute Afzal Guru, after years of dilly-dallying, is part of a Congress party effort to improve its position for the 2014 general elections. The Congress in its usual cynical manipulation of the votes is trying to eat into the majority constituency with this action, she says.

Executions had become more rare up until [that of , the lone surviving terrorist in the 2008attacks] the first in India in eight years. Like Kasab's hanging in November, Azfal Guru's came just ahead of a parliament session. I would just say it's extremely tragic if Indian democracy is going to survive on executing someone or the other before every Parliament session, says lawyer Vrinda Grover. Congress party spokesmancalled such suggestions about the timing "irresponsible and childish."

The execution led to , where Afzal Guru was from.

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