Bomb threats keep Bangalore on alert

By agencies   |   Friday, 30 December 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Two days after a gunman opened fire at a science conference killing a professor and injuring four delegates, a letter threatening bomb blasts has kept India's IT hub Bangalore on high alert.

In the letter addressed to police and published in part in local newspapers on Friday, a man calling himself Moinuddin warned there would be bomb blasts on New Year's Eve at a five-star hotel and at the residence of Karnataka state's chief minister.

Police are yet to receive the letter, which was sent to newspapers, but although regarding it as a likely hoax was taking no chances.

"We have not received any such fax or message. At the same time, we do take such threats, even if hoax, seriously and prepare for any eventuality," a top police official said.

"We continue to maintain high alert in the city and across the state. There is no cause for panic," said B. S. Sial, director general of police for the southern state of Karnataka, of which Bangalore is the capital.

"As on every New Year's Eve we have extra police force deployed in and around the city to prevent any untoward incident."

Police and a top official said the attack on the science conference, in which a gunmen sprayed bullets indiscriminately at delegates, was likely the work of militants.

"Preliminary investigations by the city police and vital clues available so far indicate that it was a terror attack," Karnataka chief minister Dharam Singh said on Thursday.

Police officials are hoping the injured will provide further clues to the identity of the assailant.

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