2 killed, dozens injured in IED blasts at Kochi convention centre

KOCHI: At least two persons were reportedly killed and nearly two dozen people were injured in multiple blasts at a convention centre in Kochi, during a Christian denomination Jehovah’s Witnesses on Sunday morning. 

According to eyewitnesses nearly 2,500 faithful from all across the state had gathered for a prayer session at the Zamra International Convention Centre at Kalamassery, and everything seemed to be going on smoothly at around 9.30 am minutes right after the day’s prayer session, the first blast among the many explosions occurred right in the middle of the convention centre. 

One of those who were present said, "After the first blast which was very loud, fearing the worst, those gathered for the services began running out to save themselves, there were two to three more blasts which were a little less loud than the first one. The place where the blast occurred was on fire, and there were some injured on the floor."

"After a while when the blasts stopped, people came in and began rescue operations and helping out the injured. The police reached the venue shortly after that," he added.

The Kerala police which was already on high alert in the state reacted rapidly and took control of the situation, with several top-ranking officials rushing to the spot. Preliminary investigation and as confirmed by Kerala Police Chief Shaik Darvesh Saheb an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was used in the multiple blasts. 

DGP Saheb told media persons, “Today morning at 9:40 am approximately there was an explosion at Zamra International Convention & Exhibition Centre in which one person died and 36 persons are undergoing treatment. We are conducting a thorough investigation, we will find out who is behind this.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also took stock of the situation and said that the incident was unfortunate and the police have already begun investigation. He added that among the injured, the condition of two is serious.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with Vijayan & instructed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Security Guard (NSG) to reach the spot and conduct an inquiry into the incident. He has assured the state government that all help will be extended to investigate the incident and to assist the state force in preventing any possible similar event from happening. 


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