05/18/2007, 00.00
INDIA
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Hyderabad: Mosque blast kills at least six

by Nirmala Carvalho
Blast occurs during Friday prayers in the city’s historic mosque. The dynamics of the incident are still unknown. Local archbishop calls it “senseless violence against the innocent.” Diocese puts its medical facilities at the disposal of the injured. Tonight prayers will be said for the victims.

Hyderabad (AsiaNews) – At least six persons were killed in a bomb blast that ripped through the Mecca Masjid, a historic mosque in Hyderabad, in Andhra Pradesh, southern  India. The place of worship is near Charminar, a monument that is also a symbol of the city. The many injured were taken to the Osmania hospital.

The blast occurred at the end of Friday afternoon prayers when about 8,000 worshippers had gather inside in the building to pray.

Police report that the number of casualties is bound to rise given the kind of injuries some people have sustained.

Mecca Masjid can accommodate up to 10,000 persons at a time.

The response of the archbishop of Hyderabad, Mgr Marampudi Joji, was immediate.

On behalf of the 6 million Christians of Andhra Pradesh state I condemn this senseless violence against the innocent. It is tragic that places of worship are no longer safe havens. It is to be condemned in strongest terms that on Friday, the holy day when our Muslim brethren assemble for prayers, the bomb exploded,” he said.

The prelate also said that he instructed the Diocese to put all Christian medical services and facilities at the service of the injured.

“We will offer special prayers this evening for the wounded and those devastated by this violence,” he said.

“We pray for God to enlighten the forces which perpetrate such heinous acts of violence and pray that there may not be any reprisals,” he added.

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