A specific alert warning of an attack by a Pakistan-based terrorist group was shared by central security agencies with Hyderabad police on Thursday morning, Home Ministry officials said on Friday.

Two blasts ripped through a crowded market in Hyderabad on Thursday, leaving 16 dead and 120 injured.

The Ministry had sent specific alert on Thursday morning to four cities — Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hubli — warning them of probable attacks by terrorists, they said.

Besides, Maharashtra and Gujarat police forces were also sent the alert, the officials said.

According to Home Ministry officials, the alerts were also sent to all States on February 19 and 20, that Pakistan-based terrorist groups may carry out attacks in a major city to avenge the hanging of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

They said the central security agencies had sent an advisory on Tuesday asking all States to tighten security in sensitive places as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen may launch attacks.

The security agencies sent another advisory on Wednesday saying banned Indian Mujahideen may carry out terror attacks to avenge the hanging of Kasab and Guru.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had on Thursday said all States were alerted about a possible terror strike by militant groups.

However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had said those were general alerts which often keep coming from the Centre.

Perpetrators will be apprehended: Shinde

Meanwhile, Mr. Shinde told Parliament on Friday that government will make all possible efforts to apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds behind the twin blasts in Hyderabad.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha after touring the blast sites, Mr. Shinde said the situation was under control and the government was committed to combat such cowardly terror attacks.

He said the twin blasts took place in a busy locality of Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad city at a local bus stop and a canteen, which were about 150 meters from each other at 6.58 p.m. and 7.01 p.m. on Thursday.

“Preliminary investigations reveal that the IEDs were placed on bicycles causing explosion at both the places,” he said, adding 16 persons were killed and 117 injured, four of them critically, in the blasts.

He said two cases have been registered by the police and the National Investigation Agency would investigate it in conjunction with Andhra Pradesh police.

Mr. Shinde said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced Rs 2 lakh as ex-gratia for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the injured.

The State government has announced Rs. six lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh for the injured besides bearing all expenses for treatment of the injured, he said.

“The situation is under control,” the Home Minister said.

Mr. Shinde said he, Home Secretary R.K. Singh and NIA Director-General S.C. Sinha visited Hyderabad and reviewed the situation with Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister Mr. Reddy, the Chief Secretary, the Director-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police.

Mr. Shinde said the State government immediately deployed emergency medical response team along with 25 ambulances to take the injured to the hospital.

“The State police and a team of NIA from the NIA Branch office at Hyderabad immediately reached the place of occurrence and cordoned off the area to collect evidence from the crime scene,” he said.

Mr. Shinde said a team of NIA led by an Inspector-General and Post Blast Investigative team of the National Security Guard were sent to Hyderabad from Delhi at 9.30 p.m. on Thursday night by a special plane and they reached by 11.30 p.m.

“Two cases have been registered vide CR No. 146/2013 of Saroor Nagar Police Station, Cyberabad and CR No. 56/2013 of Malkapet Police Station, Hyderabad City,” the Minister said.

More In: National | News | Hyderabad