After back-to-back bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad on successive days that killed close to 50 people and injured more than 100, India is attempting to track down those responsible and recover from the damage that has sent shockwaves through the country.
Bangalore was hit by seven bombs on Friday. The bombs killed two people and injured several more. Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister, YS Rajasekhara Reddy, called the blasts a “conspiracy by mischief-mongers to tarnish the image of his government.”
On Saturday, Gujarat’s chief city, Ahmedabad, was rocked by 17 bombs that exploded in key areas of the city one after another. Some of the bombs were placed in hospitals across Ahmedabad, and appeared to target wounded civilians from previous blasts who were being brought to the hospital.
A previously unknown group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claimed responsibility for the blasts in an e-mail sent to major media outlets within minutes of the blasts.
CNN-IBN reported that police had raided an apartment in Mumbai where they believed the e-mail originated from.
Riot police patrolled the streets of Ahmadebad after the bomb blasts, aiming to stifle possible communal tensions and violence resulting from the blasts.
Ahmadebad was hit by heavy communal violence in 2002 after a suspicious train fire killed 59 people, mostly Hindus. In the violence that ensued, close to 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed, some in extreme violence.
At the time, Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi, was accused of doing little to stop the violence and in fact instigating and supporting the violence against Muslims while pulling back police from stopping the carnage.
Terrorist attacks in India have killed close to 200 people in 2007.
The attacks are believed to be backed by foreign militants operating in India, but so far, the Indian government has not been able to successfully track down the groups responsible.