October 29, 2005

Bomb Blasts in New Delhi, Scores Killed

(New Delhi, India) Three powerful bombs were detonated today in crowded shopping areas (map) of the capital city. The first blast occurred about 5:40pm IST at the main market in Paharganj, a popular meeting area for foreign tourists and backpackers. Another explosion followed in Sarojini Nagar, a busy shopping area popular among the middle class and foreigners. Soon after, the teeming market of Govindpuri was attacked. Police, fire brigades, bomb disposal teams, and anti-terror squads rushed to the scene as the whole city was placed on security alert.

Thus far, reports on the number of casualties have been sketchy. The dead and injured are expected to be numerous. Most places were unusually crowded due to the upcoming Diwali festival, a major Hindu holiday during which families exchange gifts, light candles and celebrate with fireworks.

It's unclear who is responsible for the blasts, but Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal stated that the attacks were "handiwork of those who were backed by anti-India elements."

"From preliminary observations, it can be said the explosives were kept in a cycle rickshaw or a motorcycle. At least 40 are injured and six to eight people have expired," Delhi Police Commissioner KK Paul told reporters in Paharganj.
According to Home Secretary V.K. Duggal, an alert was sounded in all states for possible terrorist attacks during the Diwali season.

The Guardian reports that a bus was bombed in addition to the shopping areas.

Rediff India reports that 50 people are dead and 70 are injured. Also, the blasts are suspected to be the handiwork of banned Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba outfit.

HindustanTimes.com reports that:

- 48 are confirmed dead,
- Police raid hotels in Paharganj,
- Home Ministry says RDX was used in blasts,
- Two suspects arrested at New Delhi Railway Station,
- Blasts being blamed on an intelligence failure.
A top advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the bombings were surely the work of terrorists but which group is unknown at present. Opposition from numerous terrorist groups constantly faces India. From fringe organizations to militarized Kashmiri rebels, India has its enemies.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 12:46 PM | Comments |