Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BOMB DETONATES AT NEW DELHI'S HIGH COURT, KILLING 11

A powerful improvised explosive device (IED) concealed in a briefcase detonated in the vicinity of roughly 100 people who were in line to obtain visitors' passes to enter the court earlier today, killing 11 and injuring as many as 66. It was the first major attack on Indian soil since triple blasts in Mumbai on July 13 killed 26 people.

Authorities are probing an emailed claim of responsibility purportedly sent from Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI), a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group linked to previous attacks on Indian soil.

COMMENT: The email being studied by investigators warned that other courts would be targeted unless authorities repealed the death sentence on a man convicted for conspiring in a 2001 Islamic militant attack on India's parliament.

The last bombs in the Indian capital were in September 2008, when a series of blasts in several upmarket shopping areas killed 22 people and injured nearly 100. A home-grown militant outfit called the Indian Mujahideen claimed it was behind that attack.

India has made efforts to improve domestic security since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which 10 Islamic gunmen laid siege to the city, killing 166 people; however, continuing weaknesses include establishing counter-terrorism processes; not having redundant levels of security; poor application of technology; and the need for change management.

The High Court has been targeted before. In May, a low-intensity device was set off in the parking lot but there were no casualties and only minimal damage. Other recent bombings include a blast in February last year at a packed restaurant in the western city of Pune which killed 16 people, including several foreigners.


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