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Blast in packed temple

Hyderabad, Nov. 21: A bomb exploded on the premises of a temple in the middle of special weekly puja this evening, killing two and injuring 17.

The Shirdi Saibaba temple at Dilsukhnagar, a suburb five km from the landmark Charminar in the city, was packed with devotees when the bomb went off at 8.30 pm. The bomb was planted in a milk can on a scooter.

A few hours before the blast, US treasury secretary Paul O’Neill and ambassador Robert Blackwill were in Hyderabad to attend a meeting.

Police said investigations are on to ascertain whether Naxalites, who have mounted a string of strikes over the last few days, are involved. However, officials claimed that the telltale signs pointed to the involvement of the ISI.

Hyderabad is usually tense in the run-up to each December 6, the day the Babri Masjid was demolished. The tenth anniversary of the demolition is just over a fortnight away. The RAF has been deployed in sensitive areas to avert untoward incidents during Friday prayers.

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