As many as a dozen people were killed and scores more injured when a pair of bombs rocked the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Thursday night, in what Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called a “dastardly attack.”
One bomb exploded outside a movie theater while the other detonated by a bus station, police told the Associated Press. The attacks were considered to be one of the worst bombings in India since September 2011, when an explosion outside the High Court in New Delhi killed 13 people, AP said.
“This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished," Singh said.
Kiran Rumar Reddy, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, where Hyderabad is situated, called the attack an effort “to disturb the peaceful living of all communities in Andhra Pradesh."
Reddy was referring to the mixture of Muslims and Hindus who populate Hyderabad, a city of 10 million people and the hub for India’s information technology sector.
The bombs were placed on bicycles 500 feet apart in the Dilsukh Nagar district of Hyderabad – a crowded area with an abundance of shops, said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
The attack damaged storefronts and debris, including plates from a roadside restaurant, were strewn about the immediate area of the blast.
There were disputed reports as to how many people were killed in the bombings, but as many as 12 people were reported killed in the attacks.
Mahesh Kumar, a 21-year-old student who was in the area at the time of the attack, suffered shrapnel wounds.
"I heard a huge sound and something hit me, I fell down, and somebody brought me to the hospital," he told the AP.
Authorities did not have any suspects as of Thursday night, Shinde said.
“We have to investigate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian authorities haven't yet been able to determine who was responsible for the bombing in 2011. Security sources within the country blamed poor coordination between the national government and Indian states for the ease in carrying out such attacks.
"The concept of homeland security should be made effective, on a war footing," Rana Banjeri, a former security official, told the AP.