Photo: AP
Town of Varanasi (Archive)
Photo: AP
1 dead, 20 hurt in India blast
Foreigners among wounded after bomb detonated during Hindu ceremony

A bomb hidden in a metal canister exploded during a Hindu ceremony Tuesday, killing a baby and wounding 20 people, including four foreigners, in India's temple town of Varanasi.


Police said the blast appeared to be a terrorist attack but would not say who they suspected. Later, a local Islamist group claimed responsibility for the explosion. 


The bomb was hidden in a milk container on the Sheetla Ghat, one of many stone staircases leading to the Ganges river, according to police official Brij Lal.


The force of the explosion ripped away a metal railing and damaged stones up to 200 feet (60 meters) away, said a witness, Ramatama Srivastava.


Three victims, including one of the foreigners, were hospitalized in serious condition. It was not immediately clear where the foreigners were from.


Srivastava - who spoke by telephone from Varanasi, which is about 180 miles (300 kilometers) southeast of the Uttar Pradesh state capital of Lucknow - said he noticed the foreigners were watching the Hindu prayer ceremony and taking photographs.


In March 2006, twin bombings blamed on a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group tore through a train station and a temple in Varanasi, killing 20 people.


First published: 07.12.10, 17:10
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