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Blasts rock Indian temple town

At least 20 people have been killed and 60 wounded in three explosions in the north Indian Hindu pilgrimage town of

Last Modified: 08 Mar 2006 03:54 GMT
The blasts hit Varanasi's railway station and a temple

At least 20 people have been killed and 60 wounded in three explosions in the north Indian Hindu pilgrimage town of Varanasi, police said.

"Fifteen people have died and about 60 are injured. The blasts were pretty big, and I do not rule out a terrorist hand behind it," Navneet Sikera, senior superintendent of police for Varanasi, told Reuters, on Tuesday.

 

Another five people died overnight in hospitals following the attacks on Tuesday evening in the northern city of Varanasi on the banks of the river Ganga, Police Superintendent Paresh Pandey told The Associated Press.

 

Authorities were scrambling to determine what caused the blasts, while political leaders suggested it was a bombing. 

 

One blast went off at the Sankat Mochan temple at dusk when the shrine was crowded with devotees, police said.

 

Wounded

 

A witness said he saw between 25 to 30 wounded people being taken away in ambulances.

 

"After the blast people were running like anything"

Pradeep,
Varanasi resident

Two other blasts reportedly shook the city's railway station, one inside a railway coach and the other near a ticket counter.


"It was a high intensity blast," a man identified only as Pradeep told the CNN-IBN television. "After the blast people were running like anything."


Varanasi, 700km east of Delhi, is one Hinduism's major places of pilgrimage and is ordinarily filled with people visiting temples and taking ritual baths in the river Ganga which flows past the town.


It's also a popular spot with foreign tourists, especially backpackers.

Source:
Agencies
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