Sun, Oct 30, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Dozens feared dead in bomb blasts in central New Delhi


At least 22 people were feared killed in a powerful explosion that rocked central New Delhi yesterday, television reports said. Minutes later, at least two more explosions shook the city, officials said.

At least 60 injured people were hospitalized after the first explosion, in the crowded Paharganj neighborhood of the Indian capital, New Delhi Television said.

Vir Singh, a spokesman for the city's fire department, confirmed there had also been explosions near the main market in Sarojini Nagar, a crowded south New Delhi neighborhood, and on a bus in the Govindpuri neighborhood.

He had no further details on those blasts.

But witnesses confirmed hearing an explosion near the Sarojini Nagar market.

"The blast was so powerful, my house shook," said Kiran Mohan, a photo editor who lives about 200m away from Sarojini market.

The initial blast took place in the main Paharganj market in the evening, when it was filled with shoppers ahead of a major Hindu festival next week, the fire brigade said.

Paharganj is a busy wholesale market, dotted with small, inexpensive hotels frequented by foreign travelers.

All roads to the scene of the explosion were sealed off.

It remained unclear what caused the explosions.

While the Indian government faces opposition from dozens of militant organizations, there was no immediate official word that the explosions had been caused by bombs.

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