Delhi rocked by bomb blasts
Sunday, September 14, 2008
At least five bombs exploded in crowded markets and streets in the heart of India's capital New Delhi on Saturday killing 30 while injuring more than 100 people. The blasts at Ghaffar market in Karol Bagh, at Connaught Place and Greater Kailash took place in a quick succession.
|The challenge posed by terrorism and communalism would be fought tooth and nail.|
—Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
In an e-mail sent to a local television news channel, a group claiming to be the Indian Mujahideen, appeared to take responsibility for the explosions.
"In the name of Allah, the Indian Mujahideen has struck back again. Do whatever you want. Stop us if you can," the e-mail said. The station says it received the e-mail before the explosions occurred.
Indian Mujahideen, a militant Islamist group, have claimed the responsibility of several attacks against civilian targets in India, claimed responsibility for the 2008 Delhi bombings through an e-mail sent to Indian media, which were all triggered within a 45-minute period. More than 400 people have died since October 2005 in bomb attacks on Indian cities such as Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
The first explosion rocked Gaffar market area of Karol Bagh in central Delhi at 18:15 (IST) in which at least 20 people were injured. The explosive was kept near a Maruti car, and resulted in a cylinder blast in an auto rickshaw, which was subsequently thrown up several feet into the air.
Immediately after, two explosions took place in Rajeev Chowk in which at least 10 people were injured. Police and witnesses said that went off in dustbins in and around Rajeev Chowk, a shopping and dining area popular with tourists and locals in the centre of the city. The first of these blasts occurred on Barakhamba Road, near Nirmal Tower and Gopal Das Bhavan. The second bomb exploded in the newly constructed Central Park in the centre of the Rajeev Chowk roundabout, built above one of the main stations of the Delhi Metro. An eyewitness reportedly saw two men place the bomb in a dustbin at Central Park.
Two explosions rocked M-Block market in Greater Kailash-I at about 18:40 (IST), the first near the popular Prince Paan Corner, and the other near a Levi's store. The latter damaged 10 shops.
Relief activities have been started while security has been put on high alert across the country following the deadly blasts in the Indian capital.
- President, Asif Ali Zardari, "strongly condemned" the bomb attacks, expressing "shock and grief over the loss of precious human lives".
- Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani, said the bombers were "enemies of humanity".
- Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shehrbano Rehman, condemned the serial blasts in New Delhi in strongest terms by saying that they were a “barbaric act of cowardice”, and that the elements involved in this act were enemies of humanity.
- Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, conveyed his deepest sympathies to the victims and the families of those affected. Straw, who was on a visit to India during this time, added that the British Government condemns all acts of terrorism, and hoped to work together with the Indian government to tackle terrorism.