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DateLine Sunday, 8 April 2007

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Fourteen killed, 17 hurt in blast in southern India

CHENNAI, India - At least 14 people were killed and 17 injured in southern India when a vehicle carrying explosives blew up, police said.

"The jeep was carrying gelatine sticks. Fourteen people were killed and 17 were injured. Two of them are in a critical condition," K. Radhakrishnan, inspector general of police told AFP. The blast occurred at Chendur village some 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state.

Most of the victims were villagers who had gathered near the car to douse the flames.

Police said the jeep was transporting explosives - meant for clearing stones to construct roads - from a licensed shop.

They ruled out earlier reports that the vehicle might have been transporting weapons to the coast to be smuggled to northern Sri Lanka, where rebel Tamil Tigers are waging a deadly insurgency.

 

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