JAIPUR, India May 13 Seven bombs ripped through
the crowded streets of India's western city of Jaipur on Tuesday
evening, killing around 60 people in markets and outside Hindu
The bombs, many strapped to bicycles, exploded within
minutes of each other in Jaipur's pink walled city, a magnet for
It was the deadliest bomb attack in India in nearly two
years. Around 150 people were wounded and local television
stations broadcast appeals for blood donations.
Police officers said no group had admitted responsibility
for the blasts. Television channels quoted government and
intelligence officials as blaming Pakistani or Bangladeshi
Islamist militant groups.
"According to the information I have received 60 people have
died and 150 have been injured," Rajasthan's Chief Minister
Vasundhara Raje was quoted by the Press Trust of India as
The state's home minister, Gulab Chand Kataria, said there
were at least 55 deaths.
"At around 7.30 there was a big noise and suddenly I found
people in a pool of blood," said Govind Sharma, a priest at a
Hindu temple, through tears. "I've lost my father in the bomb
Officials said the apparent motive for the bombs was to
undermine a peace process between India and Pakistan or foment
communal violence in India.
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is due to visit
Islamabad in just over a week to review the four-year-old peace
process, his first since a new, civilian government took over in
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm. The British
and U.S. governments said there could be no justification for
killing innocent people.
At the main government hospital in Jaipur, more than 100
people crowded around the doors of the emergency ward, many
screaming for information about their relatives. Police officers
at the doors yelled for people to give blood.
"I've come here to locate my son," said Shabnam Bano, in
tears. "He had gone to the bazaar but has not returned."
Inside the ward, cleaners frantically tried to mop up blood
that had pooled in the main corridors.
Police and state government officials say some or all of the
bombs were left on bicycles and detonated using timers. An
eighth bomb was defused by police.
Officials said they were not aware of any foreigners being
Two bombs were planted near Hindu temples, where large
crowds gather every Tuesday in honour of the monkey god Hanuman.
"It was obviously a terror attack," A.S. Gill, Director
General of Police in the state of Rajasthan, told reporters
close to the scene of one of the blasts.
The blasts come just a few days after fresh firing along the
border between India and Pakistan in disputed Kashmir. India said
Islamist militants had been trying to sneak in.
"There could be a conspiracy behind this," Shriprakash
Jaiswal, India's junior home minister, was quoted by television
stations as saying. He did not blame any one group or country.
Alerts were issued in the Indian capital New Delhi and the
financial capital of Mumbai.
In the past few years a string of bomb blasts in Indian
cities have killed hundreds of people. The deadliest was in July
2006, when seven bombs exploded on Mumbai's railway system
killing more than 180 people.
Last August, three bombs killed 38 people at an amusement
park and a street-side food stall in Hyderabad, a city in
southern India which is home to a booming outsourcing industry.
Cinemas, markets and places of worship have also been
targeted in recent years.
(Writing by Simon Denyer; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and