» 07/13/2011 16:52 INDIA Three explosions in the heart of Mumbai, 20 dead and at least 100 wounded by Nirmala Carvalho Zaveri Bazaar, the Opera House and Dadar are hit. Terrorism is suspected. Today is the birthday of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the lone gunman who survived the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Card Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, grief and sorrow” as well as “strong condemnation of this insensate violence.”
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Three explosions were reported tonight (local time) in Mumbai, one in the busy Zaveri Bazaar, another near the Opera House and a third in the city’s Dadar area. According to official police sources, at least 20 people were killed and another 100 wounded. A preliminary investigation suggests a possible terrorist link. The blasts coincide in fact with the birthday of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the lone gunman who survived the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The blasts took place during rush hour and in crowded places. Eyewitnesses said about 15 to 20 people were taken to hospital in Zaveri Bazar. Other reports said six people died in the Dadar blast, four in the Zaveri Bazaar where the first blast occurred.
Zaveri Bazaar was hit before—over 50 people were killed in twin blasts in 2002.
Police confirmed one explosion in a car at a bus stop in Dadar West. An unexploded bomb was also reportedly found in the area and a bomb disposal squad was working to defuse it.
A police officer said that in Zaveri Bazar the explosive might have been placed in a meter box behind a billboard. The Opera House blast took place at Prasad Chamber.
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team was rushed to Mumbai from Delhi to investigate and collect forensic evidence. The police have appealed for calm.
Malls, markets and other crowded places in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore have been placed on high alert.
Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, spoke to AsiaNews about the event. He “expressed grief and sorrow” as well as “strong condemnation of this insensate violence.” The prelate extended his condolences to the families of the victims.
“Once again, our city is plunged into grief because of a cowardly act of violence,” said the Mumbai-born cardinal. At present, “we are still dismayed and puzzled by what happened.”
“Let us pray to Our Lady,” the prelate said, “that she may protect us and help us not lose hope. Let us pray for those who perpetrated this horrendous crime, that they may realise the gravity of their action against the whole of humanity.”
The Church in Mumbai has already placed its medical staff and other resources at the disposal of the authorities to help them cope with this tragic situation.