Bomb Blasts Hit India’s IT City Bangalore

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.

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Map via IndiaTimes