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Bangalore bomb blast injures at least sixteen people

Explosive went off near the headquarters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, prompting questions about security in the Southern India city.

Bangalore bombEnlarge
Indian police search for evidence inside burned vehicles following a blast near the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in Bangalore on April 17, 2013. Police in the southern city of Bangalore said Wednesday they were investigating a minor blast outside the office of a political party which injured 12 people. (STR/Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

A powerful motorcycle bomb went off near the headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Malleshwaram neighborhood in the city of Bangalore, India, injuring at least sixteen people.

The majority of injured were policemen stationed near the office of the state's ruling party.

The Associated Press reported that the bomb went off about 100 meters from the office, and that two of the injured are in critical condition in the hospital. The injured officers were sitting in a minibus when the bomb went off, wrote the Times of India.

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Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he would order an inquiry into the blast, wrote the Hindustan Times, while Karnataka deputy chief minister R. Ashok called the explosion an "act of terror."

"As a lot of political activity has been going on since the poll schedule was announced last month, hundreds of our cadres and leaders have been visiting the party office daily and hence they were the target of this terror attack," Ashok told the Times of India.

"A bomb-like material on a motorbike exploded around 10:30 am injuring 16 people, including 11 policemen, near the BJP office at Malleswaram in north-west Bangalore," said state director general of police Lalrokhuma Pachau of the incident, according to the Hindustan Times.

"We found two or three vehicles on fire. Some people were lying on the ground injured," S. Prakash told the NDTV news channel, according to the BBC.

The explosion happened just before important elections in Karnataka where the BJP currently holds power, noted the BBC.

Authorities remain unsure about who was behind the attack, or what materials were used in making the bomb.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/130417/bangalore-bomb-blast-injures-at-least-sixteen-people