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12 killed in twin bomb blasts in southern India

HYDERABAD, India — A pair of bombs exploded Thursday evening in a crowded shopping area in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, killing at least 12 people and wounding scores of others in the worst bombing in the country in more than a year, officials said.

The blasts occurred about two minutes apart at around 7 p.m. outside a movie theater and a bus station, police said. Storefronts were shattered, motorcycles covered in debris, and food and plates from a roadside restaurant were scattered on the ground near a tangle of dead bodies. Passersby rushed the wounded out of the area.

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‘‘This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished,’’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said. He appealed for calm.

The bombs were attached to two bicycles about 500 feet apart in Dilsukh Nagar district, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters in New Delhi. The district is a crowded shopping area.

When asked if the government had any suspects, Shinde responded: ‘‘We have to investigate.’’

Mahesh Kumar, a 21-year-old student, was heading home from a tutoring class when a bomb went off.

‘‘I heard a huge sound and something hit me, I fell down, and somebody brought me to the hospital,’’ said Kumar, who suffered shrapnel wounds.

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