Mumbai blasts: First suspects spotted?

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 15, 2011 06:17 hrs

Mumbai: Investigators scouring security camera videos may have spotted possible suspects of Wednesday's triple explosions in three to four suspicious people near the Opera House blast site, sources within intelligence agencies said.

At least 17 people were killed, and later a severed head was found on one of the blast sites taking the toll to 18, apart from over 130 injured in coordinated explosions that tore through busy hubs in Mumbai's rush hour on Wednesday evening.

Sifting through Close Circuit Television (CCTV) tapes of cameras around the Opera House site, which saw the maximum casualties at 11, investigators have reportedly spotted three to four people talking on cellphones standing in the same spot for over 90 minutes.

They have also learnt more about the bombs. Described as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the bombs were made from a mixture of ammonium nitrate, Tri-Nitro Toluene (TNT) and fuel oil, which were set off by cellphones alarms. Ball bearings were used as shrapnel.

Media reports said that investigating agencies are suspecting sleeper cells of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) were involved; possibly a smaller group of terrorists who avoided electronic communication to dodge being detected, sources were quoted as saying.

Apart from the similarity of the instruments used, the attack also came on the fifth anniversary of the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, linked to the IM, thus fuelling suspicions that this may be have been the group's handiwork.

Police are also looking at members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and fringe elements of IM, media reports said. The hubs of these groups, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, were being probed.

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