Bombings Kill 17, Wound 133 in Mumbai

Posted July 14th, 2011 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
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Indian officials say it is too early to accuse any particular group of carrying out the three consecutive bomb blasts that ripped through the country's financial capital, Mumbai, on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and wounding 133 others.

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Thursday police are investigating every possible “hostile” group, and that Indian intelligence had no warning before the bombings. No one has claimed responsibility.

Police also are reviewing closed circuit television footage of the blast sites in order to try and piece together what happened.

The two explosions in south Mumbai and one in the central part of the city occurred within 20 minutes of each other as commuters headed home from work.

Home Minister Chidambaram said the government believes the blasts were a “coordinated terror attack” because of their close timing. He visited all three blast sites Thursday, as well as a local hospital to meet with those wounded in the attacks.

The Home Ministry has ordered security heightened across the country.

Police believe the blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices. They say that in two of the blasts, the bombs were attached to motor vehicles, while the third occurred on top of an electrical metering box above a billboard.

Home Secretary RK Singh said whoever launched the attack used ammonium nitrate — an ingredient for fertilizer — to make the IEDs. He said the explosive devices indicated “some sophistication.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the attacks, as did the Pakistani government.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the bombings “outrageous attacks” and pledged support to India's efforts to bring those responsible to justice.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also offered condolences, saying nothing can justify “indiscriminate violence against civilians.”

Wednesday's attack is the worst to hit Mumbai since Pakistan-based militants laid siege to the city in 2008, killing 166 people.

It also happened just two days after the fifth anniversary of a series of train bombings in Mumbai that killed more than 180 people. Indian authorities blamed that attack on Pakistani militants.