Ajmer shrine blast kills 3

October 12, 2007


NEW DELHI, Oct 11: A bomb explosion at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer killed three people on Thursday and injured at least 17 during the peak hour of Iftar, officials said.

A stampede broke out soon after the bomb, which was apparently kept in a school bag, exploded at 6:15pm local time and people ran helter-skelter, many of them profusely bleeding.

News reports noted that the attack came days ahead of the meeting of Indo-Pakistan anti-terror mechanism on October 22.

Entry into the dargah, visited by both Hindus and Muslims, has been restricted and people are being screened, a Rajasthan state official said.

News agencies quoted Indian home ministry officials as describing the blast as a terror strike in which militants had used a low-intensity improvised explosive device.

Officials speculated that terror outfits such as Lashkar-i-Taiba were against Sufi Islam, and they could be prime suspects behind the blast at the shrine. This line of reasoning does not explain, however, why “Muslim targets” like a train to Pakistan, or non-sectarian venues like mosques and temples have been targeted in recent bomb attacks across the country.

The Ajmer shrine is revered by many Hindus.