Terrorists in India set off a coordinated attack of at least five bombs in the city of Jaipur today. Authorities report at least twelve dead and a hundred injured, and those numbers may climb:
Terrorists set off five powerful bomb blasts at crowded markets in Pink City Jaipur in a span of ten minutes on Tuesday night, killing 12 people and injuring about 100.
According to television reports, the blasts went off around 1935 hours IST. …
Rajasthan Director General of Police A S Gill said it was ‘obviously a terror attack’.
Initial indications are that at least one of the devices was a car bomb, while another went off inside one of the stores. This sounds like an al-Qaeda operation based on that description. AQ likes to coordinate their attacks for maximum carnage, and they have used car bombs on many occasions to target trade. However, the media in India believe that the rise in terrorist attacks may come from Sikh militants in Punjab instead, targeting smaller towns that may have less ability to defend themselves.
Jaipur is no village, however. It has a population of over 2.3 million people, and serves as the capital of the state of Rajasthan. It has apparently experienced rapid modernization and has a substantial economy. It also has a large Muslim population.
We’ll keep an eye on further developments.
Update: The BBC calls Jaipur a “popular tourist destination”. Rajasthan borders on Pakistan, but Jaipur is on the opposite end of the state.
Update II: Reuters says one of its reporters has seen 25 dead bodies, and that the number of blasts have gone to seven. This looks like quite a large terrorist operation, which again indicates AQ.
Update III: Police say it’s now 30 dead, according to the AP. Commenter Matticus Finch has a contact in Jaipur, who says that the military has taken control of the city and will enforce a curfew for at least 2-3 days.
Update IV: That same AP report notes that today is the day of worship set aside for the monkey god Hanuman, and at least one of the blasts hit nearby the temple for Hanuman in Jaipur. Could this have been the motivation for the attack?
Banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islamia (HuJI), operating from Bangladesh, is believed to be behind the serial blasts that rocked the tourist city of Jaipur on Tuesday evening, killing nearly 50 people besides injuring several others.
Though baffled by the attack as Jaipur was not on the terror radar, sources said the tell-tale signs of the blasts indicate HuJI’s hand.
The blasts showed that HuJI, which is being mainly run from Bangladesh, has managed to establish cells in Rajasthan and that the outfit was responsible for previous major terror attacks including the New Year eve attack on CRPF camp in Rampur and serial blasts in three other places in Uttar Pradesh.
Update VI: AFP reports 60 dead, 150 injured. They also have a quote from an official that India had no intelligence on a threat before the bombing. AFP confirms earlier reports that the city and state borders have been sealed.