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Archive for Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bombs kill 80 in western city

May 14, 2008

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— A series of bombs exploded across the ancient city of Jaipur on Tuesday, killing at least 80 people and transforming busy markets, a jewelry bazaar and a Hindu temple into scenes of carnage.

All seven blasts were within the old walls of the western city known for its pink-hued palaces, and suspicion quickly fell on Islamic militant groups blamed for a string of attacks in India in recent years. Police said an eighth bomb was found and defused by police.

"Obviously, it's a terrorist" attack, said A.S. Gill, the police chief of Rajasthan, the state where Jaipur is located. "The way it has been done, the attempt was to cause the maximum damage to human life."

The explosions began around 7:30 p.m. One went off at a market near a temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman. Tuesday was the day of worship set aside for Hanuman, and the temple was crowded with people offering prayers on the way home from work.

Another bomb detonated near the Johari Bazaar, the city's jewelry market that is a popular destination for tourists. The tourist season ended in March, however, and there were no immediate indications that foreigners had been caught in any of the explosions.

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