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Patil, Bhujbal monitoring post-blast situation in Malegaon

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 IANS

Malegaon (Maharashtra), Sep 30 (IANS) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil and Nashik District Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal arrived in this Maharashtra town to take stock of the situation Tuesday, a day after a bomb blast killed four people in a crowded market.


Official sources said the ministers had arrived in Malegaon to review the situation, and would be meeting police and district administration officials.



Police had initially said a gas cylinder had exploded at Bhikku Chowk in the heart of the town, but later confirmed that a bomb placed on a parked motorcycle had gone off.



'The bomb, placed on a motorcycle, went off at around 9.30 p.m. Four people were killed on the spot,' Additional Superintendent of Police Sanjay Patil told IANS.



Besides handling the situation in the aftermath of the blast, police had to bear the brunt of an attack by an irate mob that had gathered at the spot. The security personnel were forced to open fire to control the mob.



Patil said in all 79 people were injured in the bomb blast, stone pelting and police firing. They have been admitted to private hospitals in the town.



The curfew clamped on the area following the unrest was lifted Tuesday morning.



An Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrived from Nashik and is conducting investigations, he added.



Three mosques are situated on three sides of Bhikku Chowk in the communally sensitive powerloom town's Nayapura area. At the time of the blast, several people were shopping for the upcoming Eid festival, Mayor Najibuddin Shaikh said.



Malegaon was rocked by four bomb blasts two years ago. Thirty-one people were killed and 300 injured in the terror attacks.


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