MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Three bombs rocked crowded districts of Mumbai during rush hour yesterday, killing at least 21 people in the biggest militant 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 Nov. 26, 2008 attacks that killed 166 people and raised tensions with nuclear-armed arch rival Pakistan.
At least 141 people were wounded yesterday and the death toll was at least 21, the Home Ministry said in statements about what it called “terror attacks” centred mainly on Mumbai’s jewellery markets.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts.
“This is another attack on the heart of India, heart of Mumbai. We will fully meet the challenge, we are much better prepared than 26/11,” Prithviraj Chavan, the state’s chief minister, told NDTV broadcaster, referring to the 2008 attacks.
Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram also said “terrorists” were to blame.
“The blast occurred at about 6.45 p.m. (1315 GMT) within minutes of each other. Therefore, we infer that this was a coordinated attack by terrorists,” Chidambaram told reporters.
At least one car and a motorbike were used in the coordinated attacks in which improvised explosive devices were believed to have been used, officials said.
“This tactic is much more in line with those used by more amateurish groups such as the Indian Mujahideen, who have targeted crowded urban areas before,” Stratfor, a strategic affairs think tank, said in a statement.
Television images showed blaring ambulances carrying away the wounded and others being loaded into civilian vans to take them to hospital. Other images showed bodies lying among glass and metal debris in narrow streets.
At the Dadar area in central Mumbai, one of the explosions left