New Delhi A series of bombs exploded at a park and crowded shopping areas across India's capital Saturday evening, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens. Muslim extremists claimed to be behind the latest in a recent wave of attacks that have killed more than 100.
The bombs were clearly timed for maximum bloodshed and panic. Placed in jammed shopping districts, the explosives began to go off just before sundown - prime time for weekend shoppers in crowded, chaotic New Delhi - sending thousands fleeing in fear.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil said at least 18 people had been killed in five explosions, though some media reports put the death toll as high as 25. Mayor Arti Mehra said at least 61 had been injured.
"It's a very cowardly act of violence," Mehra told reporters near the scene of two of the explosions, in the M-Block market of the upscale Greater Kailash neighborhood. "They want to break the spirit of Delhi. They have tried this in other places before and they have not succeeded and they will not succeed here. They will not scare us."