Explosion rocks Jama Masjid in India

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Friday, April 14, 2006

File Picture of the Jama Masjid

Twin blasts have rocked the historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi (India), killing at least five people and injuring thirteen. The explosions were not strong enough to damage the 17th century mosque.

The first explosion occurred around 1730 hrs local time (IST) and the second at 1740 hrs. The explosives were reportedly carried in plastic bags. There were around 1000 people in the mosque at the time of blasts as the day happened to be Friday, considered holy by the Muslims as well as because of the fact that it was the first Friday after Milad un Nabi, Prophet Muhammad's birthday. The blasts took place just before the Azaan. Some sources claim that the mosque was almost empty with only 100-150 people in the premises when the blast took place. The first blast occurred near Gate No. 1, a place where people wash their hands before offering prayers.

The injured have been admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. Alert have been sounded in major mosques in India, especially in Mumbai. Fire trucks, ambulances and bomb disposal squads reached the site and have cordoned off the area for their operations. The nearby shops have been asked to suspend operations. The Delhi State Government has requested the people to maintain calm and announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.[1] It is being speculated that these blasts might be linked with coincidental six grenade attacks in Srinagar, that took place the same day.[2] As of 15th April, no terrorist group has claimed the responsibility of the blasts. The Delhi police have arrested four people and are questioning them for the blasts.[3] However, the police have ruled out involvement of any major terrorist group because of the crude nature of explosives.

Type of explosive

It has been established that the explosives used in the blast were very crude in nature and consisted of Potassium chlorate and Sulphuric acid. These two were separated by a rubber wall. When the acid corroded the rubber to make contact with the Potassuim chlorate on the other side, the explosion was triggered.

References

  1. Report on CNN IBNLive
  2. Report on Irish Examiner.
  3. Report on NDTV.

Sources

Wikipedia
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