BANGALORE // Seven small bombs exploded in quick succession across the south Indian city of Bangalore today, killing two people and wounding at least 15, police said. The southern city had been put on high alert, police said, with bomb disposal teams and forensic experts rushed into action as authorities tried to determine who was responsible. "A woman and a man have died and around a dozen others received shrapnel injuries in the blasts," said the Bangalore police commissioner Shankar Bidri.
Mr Bidri blamed the attack on people intent on "disturbing the peace and tranquillity of Bangalore city". He called on residents to remain calm. Several Indian cities have been hit by serial blasts in recent months, attacks that have been blamed on Islamic militants.
So far none of India's various guerrilla groups or outlawed Maoist insurgents have claimed responsibility for the attacks, Mr Bidri added. The Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta said the blasts occurred in a radius of 10km to 15km in Bangalore, the hub of India's outsourcing and software industry and the Indian base of many global technology firms. "Initial reports say that some of the blasts are low intensity using gelatin (gelignite explosive) sticks," the assistant police commissioner A Raghuveer said, adding the blasts took place between about 2.00 and 2.45 pm. "Such incidents will not deter the government from pursuing its policy of dealing with anti-national elements in a resolute manner," the Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency. Bangalore is home to more than six million people and some 1,500 domestic and foreign firms ? including Infosys Technologies, the pioneer of India's outsourcing sector. Soon after the blasts, the IT companies downed their shutters and asked their employees to go home, said a representative for the software companies. Bangalore has been relatively free of the militant attacks that have plagued other parts of the country, although one person was killed and four wounded in an attack at a premier science institute in the city in December 2005. Intelligence sources said it was too early to say who may have been behind today's attacks. "We are looking at the pattern of the explosions, and are trying to work out who is behind them and why," said a federal Intelligence Bureau official. "We hope to find out very soon."