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Home Ministry issues high alert after Varanasi blast (Lead: Varanasi blast)

December 7, 2010 - New Delhi

The Home Ministry has issued a high alert across Uttar Pradesh following the low intensity blast that ripped Varanasi's Dashashwamedh Ghat on Tuesday evening.

It has been reported that a high alert has been issued for New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

"On the concerns surrounding December 6, 2010 (Babri-Mosque demolition), we had sent alert to all states of the country and with this blast the Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore police have been sent an additional alert and have been asked to stay cautious," said Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal.

"It would not be appropriate to call it a militant attack till we get any further details," he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has appealed to the people to maintain calm and asked the Home Ministry for a detailed report into the blast that took place at the Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi.

At least 20 persons including some foreigners are reported to have been injured in the blast that took place during the 'Ganga Arti' ceremony.

There were no immediate reports of any fatalities in the explosion, which also triggered a stampede.

"Seven persons were injured of which four have been hospitalised," said Uttar Pradesh ADG Brij Lal.

It has been reported that that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was recovered from a dustbin at the site of the blast.

Further details into the incident are awaited.


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