Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Map showing the 'Western line' and blast locations.

Seven bombs exploded Tuesday at various local railway stations in the city of Mumbai, India between 6:24 pm and 6:35 pm IST (GMT+5:30).

The first blast ripped through the first-class compartment of a local train from Churchgate to Borivali, near the Khar station. Subsequent blasts occurred at Bhayandar station near Mira Road, Mahim station, Matunga, Jogeshwari and Borivali. A seventh blast has occurred in the Khar-Santacruz subway. Local phone lines in Mumbai have been jammed. The Press Trust of India, quoting railway officials, said all seven explosions had targeted first-class cars. An eighth bomb was later defused at the Borivali station.

According to official report at least 183 people have died and over 714 were injured in the blasts, although the figures could rise given the fact that Western Railway trains are very crowded during the evening rush hour. Police are reportedly conducting raids throughout India in response to the bombings. Officials in Mumbai claim the explosions were a deliberate attack. India's Home Minister Shivraj Patil said authorities had "some" information that an attack was coming "but place and time was not known". Heavy monsoon downpours have hampered the rescue efforts of the emergency services.

The Indian capital New Delhi has reportedly been put on high alert after the blasts. Airports across the country are also on high alert as are sensitive installations in Mumbai. Mumbai's train system has been suspended and calls are made to keep the public away from the city's train stations.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a emergency cabinet meeting and then released a statement saying that the bombings which have hit India lately are "shocking and cowardly attempts to spread a feeling of fear and terror among our citizens". The country's leading opposition party, BJP, claimed that the current policies of the government put the country in danger for terrorism.

There has been no claim of responsibility, but the attack has the trademarks of Kashmiri Islamic terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The group is known to have has set off bombs in quick succession in Indian cities before. India's domestic intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau, claims that this attack, as also the grenade attacks in Jammu and Kashmir earlier today were aimed at diverting attention from the elections being held in Pakistani Kashmir.

A terrorist and key supplier of explosives were arrested in Jangpura area of Central Delhi on Monday after a tip-off. The police recovered 2 kg of RDX, an explosive widely used by the military, in his possession. The police are interrogating him to find out if he had anything to do with the recent bombings.

Local helpline numbers

Hospitals [to which injured have been taken]
Cooper Hospital  : 26207254, 26207256
Hinduja Hospital : 24451515, 24452222
Lilavati Hospital: 26438281, 26438282
Western Railway

  • 022-22005388
  • 022-23094064
  • 022-23004000
  • 131

Emergency Services

  • 100
  • 101


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