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Serial blasts rip Indian tourist city

Latest update : 2008-05-14

A series of bomb blasts tore through the western Indian city of Jaipur Tuesday, killing 80 people and injuring hundreds, according to government officials. The attacks occurred in a popular tourist destination. (Report: N. Germain)

A series of bombs tore through crowded markets in the Indian tourist city of Jaipur late Tuesday, killing 80 people in what police said was a terror attack.
   
One of the bombs went off near a Hindu temple, leaving blood splattered on the street and cycles and rickshaws in a mangled heap, television showed.
   
"Sixty people have died and 150 are injured," said Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of the desert state of Rajasthan of which Jaipur is the capital. The death toll then rose to 80.
   
"We will not tolerate such activities at all," he warned.
   
Police said seven blasts took place within minutes of each other in Jaipur, about 260 kilometres (160 miles) from New Delhi.
   
"It's a terror attack. There was no (intelligence) report of this," police director general A.S. Gill told television stations.
   
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and appealed for calm.
   
Historic Jaipur, which has a population of more than two million, is one of India's top tourist resorts and a favourite attraction for foreigners.
   
State borders were sealed and a high alert sounded in Rajasthan state and neighbouring areas, police said.
   
They said there were no immediate reports of any backlash and also appealed for calm.
   
"There is peace in the town. Nobody should worry," Arvind Jain, a senior police official, told NDTV television.
   
Jaipur is popularly known as the 'pink city' because of the ochre-pink hue of its old buildings and crenellated city walls.
   
India has been plagued by bombings across the country in recent years and routinely points the finger at foreign-based Islamic militant groups fighting its rule in the Himalayan state of Kashmir.
   
Within just the last year they have included bombings in the southern city of Hyderabad which killed 43 people, at a cinema in Punjab state in northern India which left six dead, and a series of explosions outside courts in three northern cities that killed 13.

Date created : 2008-05-14

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