Over 110 people have been injured in a bomb blast in Hyderabad. 16 people have died and five are critical.
16 people were killed and nearly 117 injured in two bomb blasts in a busy commercial area of Hyderabad on Thursday evening. There were reports of a third blast that were not confirmed by local officials.
The blasts occurred about five minutes apart near a pair of cinemas and a bus stand in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded and congested area that houses a large fruit and vegetable market.
13 of the 15 people killed have been identified. Among the dead are two MBA students and a young man who had appeared for a police exam. Many of the injured are also students and other young people.
The Andhra Pradesh government has set up two special teams which will conduct an independent inquiry to assist the National Investigation Agency now handling the case.
The police are attempting to make sketches of possible suspects, work hampered by the fact that both the CCTV cameras near the blast sites were not working. There are reports that the wires of these cameras had been found severed a few days ago but had not been fixed.
Investigative officials collect evidence at one of the two bomb blast sites.
Two bombs were planted on bicycles. "One bomb killed eight people, the other killed three," said Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. "It is possible the death toll will rise," he said.
Sources in his ministry said the blasts were a terror strike by "a well-trained" group which timed the explosions to cause the maximum damage.
"This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," tweeted the Prime Minister's Office.
Mr Shinde said intelligence alerts about a possible terror attack had been received and shared with state governments over the last 48 hours, but he said there was no information specific to Hyderabad.
The explosions took place within 7.01 and 7.06 pm near the popular Konark and Venkatadri cinemas.
The local police struggled for hours to clear the packed area so that it can collect remnants of the explosives used and collect other evidence.
In 2007, twin blasts in the city killed 40 people.
Thursday's terror strike comes as the Parliament opened for its Budget Session. Many cities have been asked to be on high- alert since Mohammed Afzal Guru, was hanged in Delhi's Tihar Jail earlier this month for his role in the deadly Parliament attack in 2001.