Near simultaneous blasts kill at least 13 in India’s Mumbai

MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Three bomb blasts rocked crowded  districts of Mumbai during rush hour today, killing at  least 13 people, a senior official said, in the biggest attack  on India’s financial capital since 2008 assaults blamed on  Pakistan-based militants.
India has remained jittery about the threat of militant  strikes, especially since the 2008 attacks which killed 166  people and raised tensions with arch rival Pakistan.
At least 81 people were wounded today, Prithviraj  Chavan, the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, told  CNN-IBN.
“The vehicles used were scooters and motorcycles (in the  attacks),” he said. Television channels also said an improvised  explosive device was placed in a car, suggesting the work of  local groups rather than an international terror network.
Television images showed blaring ambulances carrying away  the injured at one of the attack sites. At Dadar in central  Mumbai, one of the explosions left car windows shattered and  uprooted electric poles.
Police were seen using sniffer digs to look for clues while  local people helped paramedics carry away some of the injured.
“We heard a big blast. The building shook, the windows  shattered. It was deafening,” said Aagam Doshi, a witness of the  blast at the Opera House and a diamond merchant in south Mumbai.
“We came outside, and the area was filled with black smoke.  There were bodies lying all over the street, there was lots of  blood…We saw many bodies missing arms and missing legs.”
One blast occurred at the Opera House, an area full of  diamond stores in south Mumbai near where Pakistani-based  militants carried out the bloody rampage in 2008.
Another blast, also in south Mumbai, was at the Zaveri  Bazaar, a big gold and silver market. The third blast was in the  centre of the city.
The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group, long focused on  fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, was blamed for the 2008  attacks.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed  Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned today’s blasts in a statement.

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