Indian Blast Kills 11 Near New Delhi High Court

New Delhi -MAP- A bomb exploded outside New Delhi's High Court on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people and injuring 66, in an act of suspected terrorism in the heart of India's capital that further heightened concerns about the nation's security vulnerabilities.

The high-intensity blast occurred at 10:14 a.m. near the courthouse reception area. Officials said they believed the bomb was placed in a briefcase.

Medical attendants rush a wounded man to the trauma centre at the RML Hospital in New Delhi on September 7, 2011, following a bomb blast at the Delhi High Court.
Terror Attacks in India

Indian news channels said the Islamist militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami had claimed responsibility for the attack in an email to media organizations. But Home Minister P. Chidambaram told Parliament the government has not yet identified the group responsible for the blast. He said investigative teams from the central government and New Delhi police are initiating a probe.

There were large crowds gathered at the High Court Wednesday, the day of the week when the court hears public interest litigation.

"It was a pile of bodies and broken bones," said Mayank Mishra, a High Court lawyer, describing the scene when he looked outside the window of the courthouse after the blast.

The injured were rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, among others. The government said it would offer about $8,700 in compensation to families of those killed, Press Trust of India reported.

The bombing appears to be the worst attack in India's capital since blasts at shopping centers in 2008 that left 22 people dead. Security experts say Wednesday's bombing is particularly worrying because it comes three months after a low-intensity explosion outside the same courthouse in New Delhi, reflecting a lackluster response by the government. The May blast didn't result in any injuries.

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