Eight dead after demostration over land rights in Andhra Pradesh turns violent.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts but Sriprakash Jaiswal, India’s interior minister, said they were part of an effort to undermine the city’s mixed Hindu-Muslim community.
“One terrorist group or the other, which is bent on destroying the unity of the country, is certainly involved,” he said.
About 40 per cent of the city’s seven million people are Muslim.
|“We’re seeing a pattern of attacks every two to three months somewhere or other in the country on soft targets”
head of the
New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management
Some Muslims have said that Hindu extremists were to blame for the mosque bombing.
India has suffered a series of recent attacks including seven bombings on Mumbai’s rail network which killed 186 people in July 2006.
Authorities have blamed them on groups seeking to upset a peace process between India and Pakistan and stir Hindu-Muslim violence.
Much of India’s violence is rooted in disputes over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, which is divided between India and predominantly Muslim Pakistan but claimed in its entirety by both countries.
“We’re seeing a pattern of attacks every two to three months somewhere or other in the country on soft targets,” Ajai Sahni, head of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, said.
The explosion at the Lumbini amusement park took place during a laser show, about 500 people were in the park’s auditorium at the time.
|People gathered at hospitals for news or to
identify the bodies of relatives [AFP]
“I saw limbs flying around me and blood splattering,” 29-year-old Romanna said as she waited for help for a chest wound outside the amusement park.
Most of the victims were killed when the restaurant was destroyed after the bomb placed at the entrance. Blood-covered tin plates and broken glasses littered the road outside.
“They had come to shop and had stopped for a bite. Now they are all gone,” Bhaskar,a family friend of two teenage girls and a young woman who died at the restaurant, said.
Dozens of people, including women and children, were wounded by the blasts.
“The metal pellets in the bombs had worked as deadly missiles, killing more people,” Dr K Shastry, a senior doctor at a large hospital which received many dead and wounded, told Reuters news agency.
Relatives and friends of victims gathered outside the morgue at a hospital in the city on Sunday, waiting for police to call them in to identify the bodies, many of which were badly mutilated.