Situation tense but peaceful in Hyderabad

Updated on May 19, 2007 11:03 AM IST

An uneasy calm prevails in the old city as the toll in Friday's terror blast and police firing mounts to 14.

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IANS | By, Hyderabad

The situation in the old city was peaceful but tense as the toll in Friday's terror blast at the historic Mecca Masjid and subsequent police firing mounted to 14 on Saturday.

The morning hustle-bustle was missing with state-owned Road Transport Corporation not operating buses as a precautionary measure. The roads wore a deserted look, as the ubiquitous auto rickshaws were off the road. Osmania University has cancelled all its examinations.

No major incident has been reported since Friday night even as the daylong shutdown called by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) began. Hundreds of policemen and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in sensitive areas of the old city.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh said on Saturday morning that the situation was "fully under control".

He said 14 people were killed in Friday's violent incidents - 10 in the bomb blast and four in police firing. The condition of three injured was stated to be critical.

About 100 people, injured either by the blast, police firing or mob violence, are undergoing treatment at half a dozen government and private hospitals.

Earlier, confusion prevailed over the number of casualties, as police official were tightlipped over the loss of lives in police firing.

"We have adequate forces and have taken necessary steps," Singh said when asked about the shutdown call.

Black flags have been hoisted in streets to protest the blast in the mosque and subsequent police firing on protestors.

Police have made elaborate security arrangements in view of the three-day Tableegi Jamaat meeting beginning here Saturday. The organizers expect that half a million people will turn up for the meeting.

Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who rushed back from New Delhi following news of the bombing, said he was confident that the culprits would be identified within 24 hours.

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