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Central & South Asia
Bombs hit India cricket match
Ten injured as two blasts hit packed IPL stadium in South Indian city.
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2010 15:30 GMT
The cap of an injured guard lies on the ground after the explosions rocked the stadium [AFP] 

Two bombs have been set off at a crowded stadium in southern India, injuring at least ten people and raising fears that the country's most prestigious cricket league was the target.   

Police in Banglore said that explosions struck the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where an Indian Premier League match was about to start between Bangalore Royal Challengers and the Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Ten people were injured, including four police officers and a security guard, by small bombs concealed in the stadium, officials said.

Early investigations suggest that the devices were detonated by timer and a third device was found and defused shortly after the blasts.  

Minor blast

"It appears that some explosives may have been hidden in the wall,'' said Shankar Bidari, the Bangalore police commissioner.

"It is a minor bomb blast, but investigations are in full swing to find out who is responsible." 

The explosions caused panic in the packed stadium, where the crowd was waiting for the game to start.

"It was a huge noise and people started to run. We were really scared," Arun Kumar, a witness, told television channels.

Speaking from New Dehli, Al Jazeera's Rahul Pathak said it was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. "Initial investigations by police seem to suggest the device was locally made, which indicates that a group based in Banglore was responsible."

The cricket match, featuring top international players from around the world, was delayed by an hour after police took emergency precautions to ensure their safety.

Several cricket-playing countries have warned their players about the dangers of playing in the IPL, with security concerns intensifying in India ahead of the Commonwealth Games in October.

India says it is bolstering security in preparation for the games amid fears that they might be targeted by domestic or international terrorist attacks.  

The blast is the second in India since the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed in a three day assault on the city.

In February, an explosion ripped through a restaurant in the western city of Pune, killing 17 people.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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