More Deadly Bomb Blasts Rock India
By Steve Herman
26 July 2008
A day after serial bombings in India's high-tech hub, Bangalore, there have been numerous blasts in Ahmedabad, western India's commercial and cultural capital. Authorities report at least 29 people are dead and more than 100 injured there following 16 separate explosions in and around the capital of the state of Gujarat. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from New Delhi.
As investigators in Bangalore were seeking clues amid the debris from a series of low intensity explosions there, a similar group of blasts hit another Indian city Saturday evening.
The latest target: the capital of the state of Gujarat. While only one person died in the Bangalore bombings, the number of dead and injured in Ahmedabad is much higher. Authorities say the explosive devices were placed in lunch canisters on bicycles which were parked at crowded markets. One bomb also exploded at a trauma center where some of the injured had been taken.
Television stations say just before the first blast in Ahmedabad they had received a 14-page long e-mail warning of an attack from a group calling itself "Indian Mujahedin." The little-known group has previously claimed responsibility for bomb blasts in other cities.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil says whatever resources are needed to render aid and investigate the attacks will be committed.
The cabinet minister says whether it is Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore or Ahmedabad the government will not play the blame game because to do that will not help the people.
His comments are a reference to the finger-pointing between the national and state governments over accusations they are not doing enough to prevent such attacks.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for Indians to "maintain communal harmony." The fear is if radical Islamic groups are blamed for the bomb blasts that Hindu activists may attack minority Muslims in retaliation.
Gujarat is especially sensitive because six years ago more than 1,000 people died there during rioting between Hindus and Muslims which threw the entire state into chaos for weeks.
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