India: Police hunt for leads in Hyderabad bombing case


Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh(L) is accompanied by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Kiran Kumar Reddy (2L) during his visit to the site of the bomb blast at Dilsukh Nagar in Hyderabad on February 24, 2013. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flew Sunday to Hyderabad to visit some of the 117 injured in twin bombings last week which also killed 16 people.



NEW DELHI, India — Indian police and intelligence agencies continue to scramble to develop leads in Thursday's Hyderabad bombing attack, which claimed 16 lives, while leaving more than a hundred injured. 

In not-for-attribution conversations, the authorities have pointed fingers at the Indian Mujahideen, a local insurgency group allegedly backed by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

The most definitive reports so far suggest police are hunting two alleged Indian Mujahideen members, Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez, and Waqas alias Ahmed, who were arrested previously for their supposed involvement in a series of low-intensity blasts in Pune, Maharashtra, last year.

Meanwhile, a native of Hyderabad and a Somali national were arrested on Saturday while attempting to cross the border into Nepal, raising suspicion of some possible involvement in the attacks, according to India's The Hindu newspaper. But police swiftly dismissed any connection.

State president of the BJP party, G. Kishan Reddy, said he received a letter on Saturday threatening another attack, The Hindu reported. Reddy told the media a postcard was sent to him in the name of the LeT, claiming that the next target would be Begum Bazar.

More on GlobalPost: India: Hyderabad bomb blasts labeled 'terror attack'; At least 15 killed (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

On the one hand, local Muslims allege the authorities have arbitrarily rounded up young people for questioning, as happened after similar bombings in 2007. But on the other, police sources say they are being much more circumspect about identifying potential suspects.

India Today cited anonymous sources saying Indian authorities have contemplated seeking help from the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation to process the CCTV footage gathered from the site of the bombings.

China on Monday condemned the bombings, while conveying its sympathies to the victims.

"China condemns this bomb attack and expresses sincere sympathies to the Indian government, Indian people, families of the victims and the injured," said China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, according to The Economic Times

Jason Orverdorf reported from New Delhi. Follow him on Twitter @joverdorf.

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