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Blasts in India claim 45 lives

An obscure Islamic militant group warning of “the terror of Death” claimed responsibility for bombings that killed at least 45 people and authorities stepped up security Sunday after India's second series of blasts in two days.

The city's police commissioner, O.P. Mathur, said that 30 people had been detained for questioning, but there was scant information about the Indian Mujahideen, the little known group that took credit for the bombings in western India.

“In the name of Allah the Indian Mujahideen strike again! Do whatever you can, within 5 minutes from now, feel the terror of Death!” said an e-mail from the group sent to several Indian television stations minutes before the blasts began.

The e-mail's subject line said “Await 5 minutes for the revenge of Gujarat,” an apparent reference to 2002 riots in the western state which left 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead. The historic city of Ahmadabad was the scene of much of the 2002 violence.

Saturday's e-mail, sent from a Yahoo account and written in English, was made available to AP by CNN-IBN, one of the TV stations that received the warning.

State government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas said 45 people were killed and 161 wounded when at least 16 bombs went off Saturday evening in several crowded neighborhoods.

The attack came a day after seven smaller blasts killed two people in the southern technology hub of Bangalore.

Investigators in Surat, a city about 160 miles south of Ahmadabad, found a car carrying detonators and a liquid that police suspect may be ammonium nitrate, a chemical often used in explosive devices, city police Chief R.M.S. Brar told reporters.

The e-mail was sent by a group calling itself Indian Mujahideen that was unknown before May, when it said it was behind a series of bombings in Jaipur, also in western India, that killed 61 people.

In its e-mail, the group did not mention the bombings in Bangalore and it was not clear if the attacks were connected. But both Ahmadabad and Bangalore are in states ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, as is Jaipur, raising suspicions that whoever was behind the attacks may have wanted to make a political statement.

There were reports the e-mail may have been sent from a suburb of Mumbai, India's financial capital. But the city's police chief, A.N. Roy, said, “We are inquiring into that. We haven't traced it yet.”

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