Bengaluru terrorist blast kills woman; kids saved

29 December 2014

A woman died and a man was injured in a blast in the Church Street area of Bengaluru's commercial district on Sunday evening. Police said it was caused by a low-intensity Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Karnataka home minister K J George confirmed that it was a terror attack, although no group has yet claimed responsibility.

The blast took place outside the popular Coconut Grove restaurant on Church Street off MG Road just after 8.30 pm.

Police investigating the case reportedly said today they have identified four suspects after examining CCTV footage. Additional security personnel have been rushed to the area as the union home affairs ministry is closely monitoring the situation.

Police said the IED was filled with shrapnel, used ammonium nitrate as explosive and was fitted with a timer. The bomb had apparently been placed in a drain on the roadside. A bomb disposal squad and a forensics team have been rushed to the spot.

The woman killed was a 37-year-old homemaker Bhawani Bala, who was out for dinner with eight other members of her family when the explosion occurred.

Bala, a resident of Chennai, was in Bangalore visiting relatives along with her two children, a 15-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter, when the blast occurred.

Bhawani was hit badly by the shrapnel from the IED planted outside the popular Kerala-themed Coconut Groove Restaurant. Her nephew Karthik, 22, suffered injuries on his back.
Five children who were in the group of nine had a narrow escape along with two other adults.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh said he has spoken to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the centre is ready to offer all help.

The chief minister visited the blast site late on Sunday night and met the injured victim at the hospital.

Union law minister Sadananda Gowda, who represents Bengaluru North in Parliament, has rushed to the blast site. "I request fellow Bengaluruians not to panic. We r with u (sic)," he tweeted.

The police, requested for calm, saying the situation was under control. Additional police forces have been mobilised in the city, where the threat perception had been high in view of the year-end festivities.

Over the years, Bengaluru has been subject to several blasts, one of the worst being the serial blasts of 2008, in which one person died and 20 others were injured.  The last attack took place in November 2013 outside the state BJP office, in which 16 people were injured.

Earlier this month, Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a young engineer from Bengal who was working in the city, was arrested for allegedly running @shammiwitness, a pro-Islamic State twitter handle, showing that the prosperous city, India's information technology capital, is also a hotbed of Islamic extremism.

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