Bomb Attacks in India Leave 45 Dead

AHMADABAD, India — Authorities scoured a western Indian city Sunday for those responsible for a series of bombings that killed at least 45 people, detaining 30 people as a little-known group claimed responsibility for the attack. It was the second series of blasts in India in two days.

"In the name of Allah the Indian Mujahedeen strike again! Do whatever you can, within five minutes from now, feel the terror of Death!" said an e-mail from the group sent to several Indian television stations minutes before the blasts began.

The e-mail's subject line said "Await five minutes for the revenge of Gujarat," an apparent reference to 2002 riots in the western state that left 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead. The historic city of Ahmadabad is one of the largest cities in Gujarat and was the scene of much of the 2002 violence.

State government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas said 45 people were killed and 161 wounded when at least 16 bombs went off Saturday evening in several crowded neighborhoods. The attack came a day after seven smaller blasts killed two people in the southern technology hub of Bangalore.

Another unexploded bomb was found and defused early Sunday, the city's police commissioner, O.P. Mathur, said. He said police had detained 30 people in their investigation.

Investigators in Surat, a city about 255 kilometers south of Ahmadabad, found a car carrying detonators and a liquid that police suspect may be ammonium nitrate, a chemical often used in explosive devices, city police Chief R.M.S. Brar told reporters.

Cities around the country were put on alert and security was stepped up at markets, hospitals, airports and train stations.

The e-mail was sent by a group calling itself Indian Mujahedeen, which was unknown before May, when it said it was behind a series of bombings in Jaipur, also in western India, that killed 61 people. Saturday's e-mail, sent from a Yahoo account and written in English, was made available to AP by CNN-IBN, one of the television stations that received the warning.

The Saturday bombs went off in two separate spates. The first, near a busy market, left some of the dead sprawled beside stands piled high with fruit, next to twisted bicycles. The second group of blasts went off near a hospital.

Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state where Ahmadabad is located, called the blasts "a crime against humanity." He said the bombings appeared to have been masterminded by a group or groups who "are using a similar modus operandi all over the country."

"Anti-national elements have been trying to create panic among the people of our country. Today's blasts in Ahmadabad seem to be part of the same strategy," federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil told reporters in New Delhi.