Delhi Bomb Blasts Kill Over 60; 113 Die in Train Crash

October 31, 2005

India was struck by two tragedies over the weekend. On a busy Saturday morning three bombs exploded at different locations in the Indian capital Delhi, killing at least 60 people and causing widespread destruction. Earlier on Saturday a train derailed south of Hyderabad, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and plunged into a rain swollen river. Rescuers have so far recovered 113 bodies from the wreckage.

Two blasts went off almost simultaneously in markets crowded with shoppers in central and south Delhi. A third explosion, reportedly on a bus, went off several minutes later in the Govindpuri section of the city, but apparently no deaths resulted. More than 100 people are reported injured, many seriously. The markets were particularly busy as people prepared for the Hindu Festival of Lights known as Diwali and the Muslim festival of Eid.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the blasts terrorist attacks, and promised to hunt down the militants, who carried them out. He stressed that his government will not tolerate militant violence. Suspicions are focused on Muslim groups opposed to the recent improvement in relations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. The two countries opened the border to speed relief efforts following the earthquake and have taken steps to allow long-divided families to visit their relatives.

The BBC reported that a previously little-known group called Inqilabi has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Police say they are trying to verify the claim, and have launched a hunt for the attackers. They say it is likely that one group was behind all three attacks which occurred in near succession.

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