Wednesday, July 13, 2011

simultaneous blasts in crowded Mumbai markets

Simultaneous blasts in crowded Mumbai markets MUMBAI, INDIA — Three near-simultaneous explosions rocked India’s busy financial capital at rush-hour Wednesday, killing at least 10 people in what the government said appeared to be another terrorist attack on the city hit by militants nearly three years ago.

Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said the blasts wounded another 54 and the toll was expected to rise. Television footage showed dozens of police officials, several of them armed, at the sites of the explosion and at least one car with its windows shattered. A photograph showed victims of a blast at the Jhaveri Bazaar crowding into the back of a cargo truck to be taken to a hospital.

Because of the close timing of the string of explosions, “we infer that this was a co-ordinated attack by terrorists,” Chidambaram said. One blast hit the crowded neighbourhood of Dadar in central Mumbai. The others were at the bazaar, which is a famed jewelry market, and the busy business district of Opera House, both in southern Mumbai and several kilometres apart, police said.

All three blasts happened from 6:50 p.m. to 7 p.m., when all the neighbourhoods would have been packed with office workers and commuters. The blasts would mark the first major attack on Mumbai since 10 militants laid siege to India’s financial capital for 60 hours in November 2008. There was no immediate indication that Wednesday’s blasts were part of a prolonged siege.

The 2008 attack, which targeted two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a busy train station, killed 166 people and was blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups. The attacks escalated tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals and prompted them to suspend peace talks. However, the talks have recently resumed. Pakistan’s government expressed distress on the loss of lives and injuries soon after Wednesday’s blasts were reported.

BY: Associated Press

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