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PostSubject: varanasi terror strike    Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:34 am

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Blast-at-Varanasis-Dashashwamedh-Ghat-20-injured/articleshow/7060311.cms

a bomb blast at varanasi leaves 1 dead many injured.....

cowardly act must be condemned by one & all



A two-year-old girl was killed and around 25 people, including a couple of foreigners, were injured in a blast at the Dashashwamedh Ghat during Ganga arati around 6.30pm on Tuesday. Many others were injured in the ensuing stampede while some of the injured were reported to have been hurt by metal pellets. According to official sources, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been recovered from a metal dustbin at the Varanasi blast site.

Terror outfit Indian Mujahideen(IM) claimed responsibility for the blast in e-mails sent to media houses and said it "attributed" the attack to the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.

Indian Mujahideen takes responsibility for blast

PM blames 'terrorists' for Varanasi blast

MHA adopting "casual" approach to terror acts: BJP

Home Secretary G K Pillai said the Government believes that the blast, which also led to a stampede, was a terror strike. Some people were injured in the stampede, police said.

The Ganga arati, which stretches across the Shitala, Dashashwamedh and Prayag ghats, is a daily ritual attended by 2,000 to 3,000 people, many of whom are foreigners. The ghats are near the famous Vishwanath temple.

A statewide alert has been sounded, Additional Director General Law and Order Brijlal said. He told reporters in Lucknow that the blast occurred due to "some explosive material" kept on the stairs of the ghat.

The girl identified as Sarita Sharma, who was with her mother for the prayers, died at Marwari hospital after the blast, according to IG(Varanasi) R P Singh. She was around two years, he said. It was not immediately known whether she suffered injuries in the explosion or in the stampede.

The blast on Tuesday occurred on the stairs of Dashashwamedh ghat and was so powerful that big boulders on the stairs were thrown many metres away, eyewitnesses said.

The DIG of Varanasi range, Prem Prakash, said that the crowd was targeted. The injured have been taken to various hospitals in the city, including the district hospital.

An Italian and a French national were among the injured. The blast occurred at around 6:20 pm when thousands of devotees and some foreign tourists had assembled at the Dashashwamedh ghat for having darshan of the Ganga Arti ritual, police sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm. Several cities including the national capital were put on high alert.

The blast occured at a spot some two km away from Sankatmochan Temple which was targeted by terrorists in 2006.

"According to the information that we have, it was a low intensity blast which occured around 6.20 PM," Pillai said in New Delhi. But Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal said the explosion was a "medium intensity" blast.

Bomb disposal squads were also rushed to the spot. Eyewitnesses said a loud noise which also shook some nearby buildings was heard when the explosion occurred.

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