Eight explosions rocked one of Buddhism’s holiest sites in eastern India, injuring two people in what government officials say was a terrorist attack.
Four blasts shook the interior of the Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodh Gaya in Bihar state this morning, while four others occurred outside it, federal Home Secretary Anil Goswami told reporters in remarks broadcast by the CNN-IBN television channel. The temple structure wasn’t damaged, he said. “It was a terror attack,” Goswami said.
Two people were injured in the blasts, federal Junior Home Minister R. P. N. Singh said on CNN-IBN. The National Investigation Agency will probe the incident, Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters in Bodh Gaya town, according to the broadcaster.
India had been targeted 10 times by terrorists since November 2008, when the government pledged to improve policing and intelligence gathering after Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people during a three-day siege of Mumbai, the country’s financial center. Explosions in the southern city of Bangalore in April injured 16 people.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee condemned today’s incident.
“Our composite culture and traditions teach us respect for all religions and such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated,” the premier said in a statement in New Delhi.
India will investigate all aspects of the blast, including who was responsible and their motive, Kumar said.
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