Update: 20 killed
* scroll down for news & pic’s from Reuters
Bomb blasts rock New Delhi, 18 killed, dozens injured
* Nothing to do with Islam, of course. Can’t blame the religion of a billion people. This is all invented by the Zionist mass-media trying to tarnish the image of Islam. What are you, some kind of Islamophobe? Just come to our mosque for some interfaith dialogue and we’ll clear up all those misperceptions…
Surjit, injured in the blast at the Gaffar Market talks on a mobile phone as he rests on the hospital bed in New Delhi. A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
Police said a further three unexploded devices were found and defused, including one at India Gate, one of the country’s most iconic monuments and a major tourist attraction in the heart of Delhi.
A Muslim militant outfit, Indian Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the bombings, which were all triggered within a 45-minute period.
“In the name of Allah, the Indian Mujahideen has struck back again. Do whatever you want. Stop us if you can,” the group said in an email sent to several media outlets minutes before the first blast at 6:30 pm (1300 GMT).
Vehicles damaged by an explosion in Greater Kailash — a major shopping district of New Delhi. A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
Little is known about the make-up of Indian Mujahideen, which had also claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings in July that killed at least 45 people in the western commercial city of Ahmedabad.
Saturday’s bombs were of varying intensity and the targetted locations in south and central Delhi were all packed with early evening shoppers.
“The fact that the blasts took place in crowded markets on a Saturday indicates the evil intention of the culprits to cause maximum casualties and damage,” said Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
Patil put the death toll at 18, while estimates of the number of injured ranged from 40 to as many as 90.
Indian police evacuate a wounded man following a blast in New Delhi. A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
Two of the blasts hit Connaught Place — the city’s largest financial and commercial centre — while two more targeted the upmarket shopping district of Greater Kailash.
The fifth ripped through a crowded electronics and automobile components market.
New Delhi Mayor Aarti Mehra appealed for calm as the blasts spread panic through the city.
“We have the strength to face this,” Mehra told reporters.
“Please stay calm. Do not be afraid,” she said. “The police and government agencies are on your side. Delhi’s strength is in its people. We cannot be frightened.”
An injured person (C) arrives at RML hospital in New Delhi. A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
Police in Greater Kailash searched for survivors among a mess of mangled motorcycles, cars and shattered glass from vehicles caught in two blasts that went off within seven minutes of each other.
One of the bombs was believed to have been hidden in a dustbin.
“I was stepping out for a cup of tea when everything turned black in front of me,” said Gulab Singh, an underground train guard. “Then everyone started running.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was attending a meeting of his ruling Congress party when the blasts occurred, vowed that “the challenge posed by terrorism and communalism would be fought tooth and nail.”
President Pratibha Patil denounced what she described as a “mindless act of violence.”
Indian police officials check the wreckage following a bomb-blast at the Gaffar Market in New Delhi. A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.
The three unexploded bombs were found at India Gate, near a large cinema in Connaught Place and in Parliament Street, about one kilometre (just over half a mile) from the seat of government.
An explosive expert with one of the bomb disposal units said the devices appeared to have been packed with steel ball bearings and nuts and bolts “to cause maximum harm.”
Triple blasts in New Delhi in October 2005, blamed on Pakistan-backed Islamic rebel groups, claimed nearly 70 lives, while a 2001 attack on India’s national parliament complex also blamed on Muslim militants killed 14 people.
Other major Indian cities were placed on alert in the wake of Saturday’s blasts, and security was boosted at airports and railway stations across the country, a Home Ministry official said.
Police set up barricades across New Delhi and were searching vehicles in the hunt for the bombers. The city’s metro service was temporarily shut down.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi described the blasts as an “act of cowardice,” while a senior leader of the opposition BJP, V.K. Malhotra, said it was “like a war has been waged against the country.”
Chronology of major bombings in India
A list of bombings that Indian authorities have blamed on Islamic militants since 2005:
_ Oct. 29, 2005 Â— Sixty-two people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi ahead of Diwali, a Hindu holiday.
_ March 7, 2006 Â— Three explosions rock a Hindu temple and a train station in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, killing 20 people.
_ July 11, 2007 Â— Seven blasts rip through railway stations and commuter trains in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, killing at least 187.
_ Sept. 8, 2006 Â— A series of explosions, including one at a mosque, kill at least 31 people in Malegaon, a town northeast of Mumbai.
_ Feb. 19, 2007 Â— A train heading from India to Pakistan is torn apart by two bombs, sparking a fire that kills at least 68 people.
_ May 18, 2007 Â— A bomb goes off during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot and kill five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims protesting the attack.
_ Aug. 25, 2007 Â— At least 43 people are killed by three explosions at a park and a street-side food stall in Hyderabad.
_ Oct. 11, 2007 Â— A blast at the shrine of a venerated 12th century Sufi Muslim saint in north Indian town of Ajmer kills three people.
_ Oct. 14, 2007 Â— A bomb explodes in a packed movie theater in the northern industrial town of Ludhiana on one of the holiest days of the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Fitr, killing six people.
_ Nov. 24, 2007 Â— A series of near-simultaneous explosions rip through courthouse complexes in the north Indian cities of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, killing at least 16 people.
_ May 13, 2008 Â— Seven bombs tear through crowded markets and rip apart streets outside Hindu temples in the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 61 people.
_ July 25, 2008 Â— Seven small bombs hit Bangalore, a southern city that is the hub of India’s technology industry, killing at least two people.
_ July 26, 2008 Â— At least 22 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing at least 42 people.
_ Sept. 13, 2008 Â— At least five explosions in crowded shopping areas kill at least 18 people and wound 61 in New Delhi.
Five bombs explode in Indian capital, at least 20 killed
Police and witnesses said two went off in dustbins in and around Connaught Place, a shopping and dining area popular with tourists and locals in the centre of the city. Others exploded in busy markets around the city, within minutes of each other.
‘The blasts were caused by bombs,’ Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesman said.
One exploded in a newly constructed park in the centre of the Connaught Place roundabout, built above one of the main stations of the Delhi Metro. Another went off in a dustbin near a metro station entrance on a main arterial road leading into the area.
‘Around 6:30 pm we heard a very loud noise, then we saw people running all over the place,’ said Chanchal Kumar, a witness whose shirt was soaked in blood of several victims he had helped shift into ambulances.
‘There were about 100-200 people around this place,’ he said, adding the blast site was crowded.
Other injured people were carried away in police vans while a three-wheeler auto-rickshaw parked near one dustbin was badly damaged, witnesses said.
‘It was a huge blast,’ said another witness, Sanjeev Gole. ‘I was around the corner from the road. I came running down and I saw at least four to five people lying on the road.’
Bhagat said at least 80 people had been injured but said police were still collecting details.
Broadcasts showed the aftermath of the explosion in the Ghaffar Market area of Karol Bagh, which is a busy area full of electronics shops and is packed at weekends.
Badly damaged cars with windows shattered and mangled motorbikes could be seen along with personal belongings, some of them bloodstained, and abandoned shoes.
Wounded people were shown being carried away by rescuers at one site, one leaving a trail of blood on the ground.
Hundreds of people milled around the site of the explosions as police tried to cordon off the area.
India has suffered a wave of bombings in recent years, with targets ranging from mosques and Hindu temples to trains.
India says it suspects militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh are behind many of the attacks.
In July, at least 45 people were killed after a series of bombs ripped through Ahmedabad, the main city of the western state of Gujarat. The attack came a day after bombs killed one woman in the IT hub of Bangalore.
Police suspect members of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India were involved in those blasts, but it has also pointed the finger at militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh for many of the attacks.