India-hyderabad-blast-probe-AP-670
An Indian investigator looks for evidence in the debris at one of the two bomb blast sites in Hyderabad, India, Feb 22, 2013. – AP Photo

NEW DELHI, Feb 22: A specific alert warning of an attack by a ‘Pakistan-based terrorist group’ was shared by India’s central security agencies with Hyderabad police on Thursday hours before two bombs there killed 16 people and wounded over a hundred, Home Ministry officials were quoted by Press Trust of India as saying on Friday.

Two blasts ripped through a crowded market in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The ministry had sent specific alert on Thursday morning to four cities — Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hubli — warning them of probable attacks by terrorists, the officials said. Maharashtra and Gujarat police forces were also sent the alert, the officials said.

According to Home Ministry officials, the alerts were also sent to all states on February 19 and 20 that Pakistan-based terrorist groups might carry out attacks in a major city to avenge the hanging of Mumbai terror mascot Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

They said the central security agencies had sent an advisory on Tuesday asking all states to tighten security in sensitive places as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen might launch attacks.

The security agencies sent another advisory on Wednesday saying the banned shadowy group called the Indian Mujahideen might carry out terror attacks to avenge the hanging of Kasab and Guru.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had on Thursday said all states were alerted about a possible terror strike by militant groups but did not identify any group.

In the past Hindu extremists have been caught for their alleged roles in bombings across India, including Hyderabad.

However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had said those were general alerts which often kept coming from the centre.

Meanwhile, Mr Shinde told Parliament on Friday that government would make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the twin blasts in Hyderabad.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha after touring the blast sites, Mr Shinde said the situation was under control and the government was committed to combat such cowardly terror attacks.

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