Published:  12:00 AM, 19 March 2017

Twin blasts jolt Agra, Taj Mahal on high alert

Two blasts were reported from Agra Cantonment railway station yesterday. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in the incident. -ANI

Twin blasts sent panic across Agra on Saturday, a day after Islamic State issued threat message on Taj Mahal and hours after a derailment bid in the city was foiled by security forces.

Two blasts were reported from Agra Cantonment railway station. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in the incident. The police have cordoned off the area.

The first blast occurred in a garbage dump after which panicked people started running hastily and meanwhile, the second blast occurred on the terrace of a house. The blast wasn't intended to hurt anyone but to spread shiver across the city which is already on terror alert since Friday.

Police has cordoned off the Agra Cantt railway station and senior police officials have inspected the area. "Two explosions were heard early today.

 The UP police has taken over and now forensic investigations are being done to determine the cause," Divisional Railway Manager Prabhash Kumar told PTI. Police sources said the two explosions were heard as garbage was being dumped into a tractor trolley near the railway station. 

After the explosion, bomb squad and sniffing dog squad have been rushed to the spot to foil any other such attempt. Security around Taj Mahal has also been beefed up considering the graphic image that emerged yesterday.

Reports came on Friday night claiming that a note threatening terror attacks was found near Bhandai railway station, 20 kms away, by police after a major mishap was averted when the alert train driver of Andaman Express from Chennai to Jammu saw a huge boulder on the tracks.

"Luckily, the engine driver had seen it in time and applied emergency brakes. A note threatening terrorist attacks was found at the spot," police said. The train crashed into the boulder but since the speed was low, it did not cause any major damage, it said.

The ISIS had released a graphic on messaging app Telegram on March 14, 2017, which says "Agra istishhadi" (Agra martyrdom seeker). On one side, it shows a fighter holding a rocket propelled grenade and on the other side, it displays a van which appears to be heading towards the Taj Mahal. With a target symbol on the monument, a test below it reads, 'New Target'.

Taj Mahal on extra security Security has been heightened at many important places, tourist spots and government installations across Uttar Pradesh following an IB alert of a potential threat by terrorists, officials said on Sunday.

Additional security has been deployed at the Taj Mahal, in Agra, the biggest draw for foreign and domestic tourists.Officials informed that 36 extra commandoes have been deployed at the Taj Mahal, on the outer periphery, in and around the entry points.


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