At least 26 people are reported to have died and 100 others injured after three co-ordinated bombs hit a railway station and a Hindu temple yesterday in the holy city of Varanasi in India.
The first explosion took place at the Sankat Mochan temple where 3,000 devotees had assembled to offer Tuesday “aarti”.
The second and third bombs went off approximately 10 minuteslater—one outside the Cantonment Railway Station’s master’s office and the other inside a crowded coach of the Delhi-bound Shiv-Ganga Express.
Government officials suspect that the blasts were orchestrated by terrorist groups. However, no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The police have been put on high alert in several areas in the country.
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed for calm after the explosions, amidst concerns that the arracks may spark religious violence.
U.S. President George Bush visited India last week. During the trip, the two countries reached an agreement that will allow India to develop civilian nuclear power capabilities.