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Suspect held in connection with blasts

india Updated: Aug 28, 2007 11:43 IST
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Hyderabad police on Tuesday arrested a man suspected to be involved in the twin terror bombings, even as the toll in the deadly attacks mounted to 43.

Mohammed Abdullah, a native of Assam, was taken into custody after residents of Bowenpalli neighbourhood of Secunderabad caught him under suspicious circumstances. The youth also had injuries on his head and hands.

Police are questioning him to ascertain whether he has any links with the worst-ever terror attacks in the history of Andhra Pradesh that took place Saturday evening. Preliminary investigations indicated that the bombs were planted minutes before they exploded and police have not ruled out the possibility of the bomb planters receiving injuries.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the blasts mounted to 43 with one of the injured succumbing to his wounds at a private hospital. Srinivas Rao, a native of Visakhapatnam, was standing near Gokul Chat when the bomb went off.

Police have also begun questioning citizens of Bangladesh and Pakistan overstaying in the city. There are reportedly 20 such foreign nationals who were staying on even after their visas had expired.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has already blamed the terror groups based in Pakistan and Bangladesh for the blasts.

Police had earlier detained about 10 people suspected to have links with Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence or terror groups backed by it.

The needle of suspicion points towards Bangladesh-based Harkatul Jihad Islami (HUJI), which was also blamed for the May 18 blast at the historic Mecca Masjid that claimed nine lives.

Shahid alias Bilal, a HUJI operative and a Hyderabad resident, is suspected to be the mastermind of both the attacks as well as the suicide bombing at the office of police commissioner's task force in Begumpet, a stone's throw from the chief minister's residence, in 2005. One policeman besides the suicide bomber, believed to be a Bangladeshi, was killed in the attack.

Shahid is currently believed to be in Bangladesh.

Lumbini Park near the state secretariat in the heart of the city was rocked by the first blast Saturday evening. Minutes later another powerful blast ripped apart Gokul Chat, a popular eatery in Koti area.

Meanwhile, three more people were arrested in connection with the fake currency racket that was busted hours before Saturday's blast. Four people were arrested and fake currency worth Rs.30 million was seized from them Saturday morning. The accused are suspected to be members of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's gang.

Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh said a possible link between the fake currency racket and the terror bombings was also being probed.

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