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Summary:

Updated at the bottom: Over the past few years, the quaint and sleepy town of Bangalore has been transformed into a highly compressed version of Silicon Valley, only with worse housing and transportation problems. Some of the bigger technology companies — Texas Instruments, Intel and Qualcomm […]

Updated at the bottom: Over the past few years, the quaint and sleepy town of Bangalore has been transformed into a highly compressed version of Silicon Valley, only with worse housing and transportation problems. Some of the bigger technology companies — Texas Instruments, Intel and Qualcomm — have offices there, along with home-grown Indian tech giants like Infosys Technologies. This doesn’t even count the dozens of call center operators and outsourcing companies that make their home in the city.

Despite the breakneck growth, the city in Southern India was viewed as a laid back and progressive place, devoid of the terrorist activity that had pockmarked India’s major destinations such as Delhi and Bombay. Today all that changed, as Bangalore was rocked by a series of bomb blasts. According to reports, two people have been wounded killed and dozens injured after seven nine bombs exploded in quick succession in the city. (There are disputing reports that say that one person and not two were killed.)

It’s not clear who might be behind these terrorist attacks, but one thing is clear, this is going to have an impact on Silicon Valley and U.S. companies. Bangalore has become integral to Silicon Valley’s life, as indicated by the packed flights that go directly into the city. On any given day, I have received an email from a Yahoo or a Google employee who is visiting their operations in India, some that happen to be in Bangalore. On a more personal note, I have dozens of friends who live in the city. Some of them have gone back from Silicon Valley to start their companies or roll out venture funds. I hope they are all well.

Update: Texas Instruments said through a spokeswoman that the bombings don’t change the chip maker’s commitment to the city. She added, “No TI offices were affected, and no TI India employees were affected that we are aware of.”

An Intel spokesman told us that no one from Intel was near or injured in the bombings. Spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the company will pay attention to activities such as the bombings, but it wouldn’t affect Intel’s continued operations in the area. “As I understand the bombings were about 7 miles from our site and everyone is okay,” he said. Intel has about 2,000 employees in Bangalore.

Update: I changed the headline to reflect some of the facts that have emerged. Our friends (and readers) are keeping us posted.

Update #2: Series of blasts in another Indian city, Ahmedabad, killed 29 people, reports The New York Times.

Follow the blasts story on Twitter.
Follow the Bangalore blasts on Summize
For other blast related stories, check out this blog.

Map via IndiaTimes

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  1. More senseless violence; the Bangalore blasts heard round the world « A Fish Out of Water Friday, July 25, 2008

    [...] before I could even get there, I jumped on Twitter and saw Om Maliks posting: Breaking: Blomb Blasts HIt Bangalore,Impact Be Felt in Silicon Valley and my heart [...]

  2. I guess everybody knows who is behind it. The aim clearly is to destablize india’s Tech capital and harm india’s economic interests.Bangalore would be a changed place now.

  3. ScorpFromHell Friday, July 25, 2008

    The scare has been real but thankfully loss has been minimal. This was may be just a calculated effort to cause fear/panic or a botched up work of some amateur group.

  4. Chetan Venkatesh Friday, July 25, 2008

    I’m a Bangalorean – we’re a loving, tolerant and resilient people. Thats always been Bangalore’s secret sauce -our culture of embrace- like Silicon Valley anyone with a great idea and the passion to build it – Bangalore embraces.

    Bangalore will not change – This is only going to help make us stronger and more resilient. Bangalore will continue to lead the way in partnering Silicon Valley in building technology that matters.

  5. These unfortunate events occur in the worst of times, and regardless of where they happen, the effects are no good at all. Om, I hope that all of your friends are okay in Bangalore and these types of attacks don’t happen again.

    It’s important for the citizens of Bangalore and the entire country of India itself to stay strong and continue to strive towards the better. Around the world, we have all gotten some taste of what this terrorist type of behavior is like, and we can only persevere and not be broken.

  6. gregorylent Friday, July 25, 2008

    your headline makes something out of nothing. i write from downtown bangalore, and this was a very small event. articles like yours, the idiots on twitter, are what make it anything at all. sort of silly

  7. Libran Lover Friday, July 25, 2008

    Another native Bangalorean writing from the US: almost all the blasts were concentrated in Southern Bangalore. Almost all the the tech companies are concentrated in Southern Bangalore? Coincidence? NOT. This was clearly an attempt to destabilize Bangalore’s tech sector. My mom told me that one of the blasts went off in or near a restaurant frequented by local tech workers during lunch time.

  8. Bangalore Bomb Blasts Heard Around The World : One More Thing Friday, July 25, 2008

    [...] so far. My deepest condolences go to those killed and injured by this act of terrorism. As GigaOM puts it, these blasts may have occurred far away but their echoes will be felt in the global innovation [...]

  9. kamla bhatt Friday, July 25, 2008

    Om:

    These were low-impact bombs and the damage was minimal when compared to bombs that recently went off in Jaipur and Mumbai. The goal was clearly to send a message home.

    Most of the major IT companies including Cisco, Intel, Accenture, AOL, SAP, Symantec, Yahoo, Microsoft etc have their offices located on inner and outer Ring Road, which is like an amalgam of 101 and 680 corridor or on Bannerghatta Rd or White Field. None of these IT-heavy areas were impacted.

    What is of concern is that one of the low-intensity bombs went off in Hebbal flyover that connects the rest of the city to the main artery that takes you to the new airport.

    Kamla

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