Explosion Near Bangalore Political Party Office Injures 16

An explosion near an office of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the southern city of Bangalore injured 16 people, two seriously, police said.

The cause of the blast is still being investigated, City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said in comments broadcast live on television channels. Footage showed burned out vehicles as police cordoned off the area and collected evidence. Auradkar said the blast may have emanated from a motorcycle, adding that eight of the wounded were police officers.

“It is an explosion,” Auradkar said. “At this stage I can’t tell what type of explosion.”

Bangalore, capital of BJP-ruled Karnataka state, is home to technology companies Wipro Ltd. (WPRO) and Infosys Ltd. (INFO) The province is preparing for elections on May 5, where the BJP faces a fight to retain control of the state after a mining scam dented the party’s image.

India has suffered nine terrorist attacks since November 2008 when the government pledged to improve policing and intelligence gathering after Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people during a three-day siege of the country’s financial capital, Mumbai. The latest bombing, in Hyderabad in February, killed at least 16 people.

Television footage from Bangalore showed three burned out cars, and police officers scouring the area with sniffer dogs. All 16 injured had been taken to nearby hospitals, police said.

Cricket Strike

Bangalore has been bombed twice in the past five years. Three years ago to the day, bombs outside a packed cricket stadium in the city exploded injuring 20 people. In 2008, two people were killed and at least 15 people were injured after seven small devices exploded in the city.

Opposition from India’s states stalled progress in setting up a national counter-terrorism agency last year, as regional leaders said it would usurp the powers of police under their command. Then Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram proposed the new unit after visiting the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center in the wake of the attack on Mumbai.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew MacAskill in New Delhi at amacaskill@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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