Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Delhi bomb: India High Court explosion kills 10

Sanjoy Majumder says the explosion happened in an area where many people were gathered

Related Stories

A bomb outside the Indian High Court in the capital Delhi has killed 10 people and injured at least 61. 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it a "cowardly act of a terrorist nature".
The bomb was apparently placed in a case near the first security checkpoint at the court, where people were queuing for passes, officials said.

Investigators said they were taking seriously an email claim by the extremist group Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (Huji) that it planted the bomb.

"It would be very premature to make any comment on the mail at this stage, but yes, that mail has to be looked at seriously, because Huji is a very prominent terrorist group," SC Sinha, Director General of India's National Investigation Agency, told reporters.

The email reportedly demands that a man sentenced to death for involvement in an attack on Delhi's parliament ten years ago should not be hanged.

The US state department says Huji is a terrorist organisation with links to al-Qaeda. The group has been accused of carrying out attacks in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The leader of Huji, Ilyas Kashmiri, was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in north-western Pakistan in June.
Crowded area

Recent bombings in India

  • 13 July 2011: Three bombs in Mumbai kill 26; no group says it carried out the attacks
  • 7 December 2010: One-year-old girl killed and 34 injured in a bomb in the northern holy city of Varanasi
  • 13 February 2010: 16 people killed in Pune when an unidentified package explodes at the German Bakery, a restaurant popular with tourists
  • 13 September 2008: Five bombs in busy shopping areas of Delhi, killing 25 people and injuring over 100; Indian Mujahideen say they planted the bombs
  • 14 April 2006: At least 14 people injured after two explosions at the Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi
  • 29 October 2005: Three bombs explode almost simultaneously in three Delhi markets, killing 62 people and injuring 210
Wednesday's explosion occurred around 10:17 local time (04:47 GMT).

"It appears that the bomb was in a suitcase because we have the remains of that suitcase," the senior civil servant in the home ministry, RK Singh, told the CNN-IBN news channel.
Prime Minister Singh, who is on a visit to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, condemned the attack.

"This is a long war in which all political parties, all the the people of India, have to stand united so that this scourge of terrorism is crushed," he told reporters.
Intelligence agencies shared information with Delhi police in July about the latest threats, Home Minister P Chidambaram told parliament.

"At this stage it is not possible to identify the group that caused the bomb blast today," he said.

News channels showed ambulances taking away a number of people who appeared to be severely injured.

Eyewitness Chanakya Dwivedi told the BBC the blast took place just before the first security checkpoint.

"As I was just about to enter the Chief Justice's court, I heard a huge bang that shook the building and gave the effect of an earthquake," he said.

"After 20 seconds' commotion, I saw huge smoke on the front gate... It was a bomb blast with blood all around and lot of people crying."

He went on: "About 15 to 20 minutes later, all the lawyers were asked to stay in the complex, and after that, the lawyers were asked to evacuate the building.

"The emergency services reacted in quick time, but still I guess the damage was already done till then."

In June, a bomb exploded in a car outside the same Delhi court complex. There were no casualties on that occasion.

In July, 26 people died in three explosions in the country's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay).

Delhi and Mumbai are now on high alert.

The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says the area was crowded with lawyers and witnesses because Wednesday is the day when most public-interest litigation is heard at the high court.
Forensic experts are now collecting debris for analysis.
Post a Comment