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Indian officials say militant group is behind Patna blasts

NEW DELHI — Investigators believe that Indian Mujahedeen, an outlawed Islamic group, was behind a series of explosions Sunday that killed at least six people and disrupted a huge political rally in Patna, a senior official said Monday.

Police said the two suspects they have in custody have said under interrogation that the blasts were planned by Mohammed Tehseen Akhtar, a figure in the banned militant group, according to S.N. Pradhan, a senior police official in the eastern state of Jharkhand who is familiar with the investigation.

Investigators say the four suspects they have identified — the two now in custody, one who died of wounds sustained in the bombings and one who is still at large — came from the same village in Jharkhand, south of Bihar State, where Patna is located.

The seven explosions, in scattered locations, were timed to go off one after another, just as a large crowd was assembling to hear an address by the Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Modi hopes to be prime minister if his party prevails in elections next spring.

—Hari Kumar, The New York Times

Opposition party makes gains in Argentine elections

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — After a decade of family rule in Argentina, the political tenor has begun to change.

Argentines voted in midterm elections Sunday that gave new momentum to the opposition, most significantly in Buenos Aires province, home to more than 15 million people in this nation of 40 million.

Sergio Massa, a municipal mayor who headed the list of candidates for the Renewal Front party, won heavily here with almost 44 percent of the vote, 12 points ahead of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s party, the Front for Victory.

Massa, 41, will lead a small bloc of 16 politicians in the lower house of Congress. He is also expected to start building up for a presidential bid in 2015 by gradually fracturing Kirchner’s Peronist support structure, though he faces the challenge of sustaining momentum over the next two years.

“Massa has consolidated himself as a key player for 2015,” said Carlos Germano, a political analyst. “But the challenge starts now.” The constitution blocks Kirchner — who succeeded her husband, Néstor Kirchner, as president in 2007 — from running for a third consecutive term. Some in her party had spoken publicly of an “eternal Cristina.” But the Front for Victory was far from obtaining the two-thirds congressional majority it needed to precipitate constitutional changes. At a downtown theater Sunday night, party officials celebrated winning 33 percent of the vote nationwide, more than any other party.

—Jonathan Gilbert, The New York Times