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Maharashtra ATS in Hyderabad to coordinate in blast probe

February 22, 2013 18:45 IST

A Maharashtra ATS team, involved in Pune explosion probe, is in the Andhra Pradesh capital to coordinate with investigators probing the Hyderabad twin blasts, which is suspected to be the handiwork of Indian Mujahideen.

"A seven-member team from our side has gone to Hyderabad. We are in touch with AP police as well as NIA officials," a senior Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad officer said in Mumbai on Friday.

"Our team has visited the terror site and is providing all help to the investigators. As the preliminary probe suggested that the twin blasts could be the handiwork of IM, we are sharing all information we had gathered about this terror group with the AP Police," he said.

Delhi Police along with Hyderabad Police is expected to interrogate an alleged IM terrorist, arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, from a place in Hyderabad last October.

Maqbool, currently lodged in Tihar jail, had said the outfit was planning terror strikes in some places in Hyderabad for which recce had been carried out.

Maqbool and Imran, natives of Maharashtra's Nanded district, arrested in connection with last year's low-intensity blasts in Pune that left one injured, had recced Dilsukhnagar and Begum Bazaar localities of Hyderabad to plot the attack following instructions from the home-grown terror outfit's founder Riyaz Bhatkal.

Bhatkal, believed to be sheltered in Pakistan, is said to have ordered the four coordinated blasts in Pune to avenge the murder of suspected IM operative Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui last year in Yerwada Central Jail. Siddiqui was arrested for his alleged role in planting a bomb outside a temple in Pune and was also named in the Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy stadium blast.

Indian Mujahideen was also involved in the German Bakery blast in Pune on February 13, 2010, which had left 17 dead and scores injured.

The terror outfit has sleeper cells in Maharashtra with operatives arrested in various cases belonging to Nanded, Beed and Ahmednagar districts, ATS officials said.

Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the handlers of 26/11 Mumbai attack perpetrators and an operative of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, is a native of Beed district.

LeT is said to have launched IM to facilitate terror attacks in India with the help of local youths.

Two powerful IED, kept in aluminium containers fastened to bicycles, had exploded in bustling Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad last evening, minutes apart, killing 16 people and injuring over 100.

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