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India's para shuttlers witness twin blasts near their hotel in Kampala, coach says team is fine (Ld)

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Kampala, Nov 16 (IANS) Following multiple explosions near their team hotel, the chief coach of Indian para badminton team, Gaurav Khanna, on Tuesday said that the whole contingent is ‘safe and healthy’.

The local police earlier had said that suicide bombers targeted Kampala, killing at least three people and injuring more than 30 others. As per a BBC report, one blast took place near Parliament, with the other close to the city’s police headquarters.

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Soon after the incident, Para-Badminton India took to social media and said that players are safe. “Indian Team is Safe!There is multiple Bomb Blast 100 mtr away from the official Hotel,” it said in a tweet.

Later in the day, coach Khanna also informed that the blasts happened around 100 metres away from the hotel and all players were safe and will stay put to finish the tournament.

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“Our bus was about to leave for the badminton hall, when the blast took place. There was chaos in the street after the incident. But, we immediately went back inside and things are fine now,” Khanna told IANS.

He also mentioned that the blast won’t affect their preparations and the tournament will go as per schedule.

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Asked whether he received any message from India regarding their security assurance, the coach said that he got calls from Sports Authority of India (SAI), and Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) chief Deepa Malik.

Malik also took to Twitter to give updates on the development.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the bomb blasts in Uganda. Despite it being close to where our para badminton athletes are put up, happy that our contingent is unharmed. In constant touch with them to ensure they are okay. My prayers with everyone affected by the attacks,” she said in a tweet.

Indian para shuttlers Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar, Manasi Joshi and Sukant Kadam are in Kampala to play the tournament, which will end on November 21.

–IANS

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