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India's Major Cities Placed on High Alert After Deadly Bombings


India's major cities have been placed on high alert after a string of blasts in the western part of the country killed at least 45 people.

Police say at least 16 bombs went off Saturday in several crowded areas of the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state. More than 160 people were wounded. Police say at least two other unexploded bombs were found and defused on Sunday in the city.

The Indian army staged a "flag march" or show of authority in Ahmedabad, with security stepped up throughout India's major cities.

Indian television reported that a little-known group called "Indian Mujahedin" claimed responsibility for the bombings in an email.

Police say an anti-terror squad today raided a home in the city of Mumbai, from where the e-mail was believed to have been sent. And police say 30 people have been detained for questioning.

The government's top security officials held an emergency meeting on Sunday in New Delhi. Afterwards, Home Minister Shivraj Patil told reporters the government would ensure the situation does not escalate and will do all it can for the victims. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to visit hospitalized survivors Monday in Ahmedabad.

The blasts in Gujarat follow a series of similar explosions in the southern city of Bangalore on Friday. At least one person was killed.

Government ministers said the attacks were meant to destabilize the country by inciting communal tension. Ahmedabad was the scene of deadly riots between Hindus and Muslims in 2002 that killed at least one thousand people.

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