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Jaipur bombings
Location Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Coordinates 26°55′34″N 75°49′25″E / 26.9260°N 75.8235°E / 26.9260; 75.8235
Date 13 May 2008 (2008-05-13)
7.30 PM (UTC+5.5)
Attack type bicycle bombs - Ammonium Nitrate
Death(s) 80+
Injured 150+
Perpetrator(s) Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami

The 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings were a series of seven bomb blasts that took place within a span of 12 minutes at various locations in Jaipur, the capital city of the Indian state of Rajasthan and a popular tourist destination. An eighth bomb was found but defused. According to initial reports, there were more than 60 dead with 150 or more people injured.[1]

The bombs went off near historic monuments at one of the busiest times of the day. One of the bombs exploded close to Jaipur's most famous landmark, the historic Hawa Mahal (palace of winds).[2] No group has admitted responsibility for the attack.[3]

After the blasts, Indian Home Ministry sources said that a Bangladesh-based organization, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) or "Action for Islamic Jihad", was suspected to be behind the attack. The Rajasthan Director General of Police stated that it was "obviously a terror attack".[4]

Contents

The Bombings

The following areas were bombed using RDX placed in bicycles:

  • Bari Choupar
  • Manak Chowk Police Station area
  • Johari Bazar
  • Tripolia Bazar
  • Choti Choupar
  • Kotwali area

Aftermath

India has deployed several units of the elite National Security Guards in Jaipur to aid the law and order forces in the city.[5] 400 men from Rapid Action Force were also being sent.[6] Few hours after the blasts, India declared high alert across several major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Delhi Police has also sent a team to Jaipur to check whether the terrorist attacks there had any links with previous terrorists attacks in Delhi.[7]

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Investigations

India has ordered an inquiry into the blasts while the Indian Home Ministry has raised concerns that certain 'foreign elements' might be behind the bombings. Jaipur's proximity to the Indian nuclear tests site has raised eyebrows among India's central intelligence agencies.[8]

A curfew was imposed in Jaipur and 4 people were detained for questioning regarding the blasts.[9] Initial police investigations suggested the involvement of several Islamic militant organizations like Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, Student's Islamic Movement of India or Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.[10]

The Indian Police revealed that the bombs planted were of low intensity but by placing them in highly crowded areas, the terrorists had ensured that the death toll would be high.[11]

Domestic reactions

The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, pledged the Government of India's support to the state government of Rajasthan and the victims' families while President of India, Pratibha Patil, appealed for calm.[12] Indian Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, conveyed his condolences to the victims' families.[13]

International reactions

  •  Pakistan - Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, released the following statement, "Pakistan condemns all acts of terrorism and reaffirms its firm commitment to fight this scourge together with the international community."[12]
  •  United States - The US State Department said in a statement, "There is no justification for the murder of innocent people. The United States stands with India in the fight to eliminate the scourge of terrorism."[12] The United States has also offered Indian security and intelligence agencies assistance in probing the attacks.[14]
  •  United Kingdom - British Foreign Minister David Miliband said, "Bombings in Jaipur have shown again the horrific destruction which terrorism brings. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and with those injured. There can never be any justification for acts of indiscriminate violence such as these, and I utterly condemn those who have perpetrated Tuesday's attacks. UK will continue to stand with the government and people of India against terrorism in all its manifestations."[15]
  •  France - France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said "I wish to express my indignation and repugnance at the wave of attacks that have plunged the city of Jaipur into mourning. France is more than ever willing to intensify cooperation with India in the anti-terrorist struggle. Today we are at the side of India and the Indian people in the face of this inconceivable horror. We wish to assure the Indian government of our full support."[16]

References


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