Series of explosions injures 27 in India

A series of explosions rocked Kashmir and New Dehli today, injuring at least 27 people.

A grenade explosion rocked Srinagar, the main city in Kashmir, injuring at least 9 people, police said.

It was the sixth such grenade attack in the city today, pushing the number of people injured to 27.

At least five people died in earlier blasts.

Two explosions rocked New Delhi’s main Jama Masjid mosque shortly after hundreds of worshippers had offered Friday prayers, injuring at least six people, the mosque’s chief cleric said.

The blasts occurred within 30 minutes of each other, said New Delhi’s police chief.

“We are investigating what kind of explosive devices were used,” Mr K K Paul said.

The mosque was evacuated and police bomb disposal squads were combing the courtyard, other areas of the sprawling mosque complex including the main domed section of the mosque, he said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions which were caused by bombs planted in different parts of the mosque complex.

Police have put New Delhi on high alert and stepped up security around the mosque and across the city, he said.

The first blast took place near the washing area of the mosque where people wash their hands before offering prayers, said Imam Bukhari, the chief cleric of the mosque.

The 17th century Jama Masjid is located in one of the most congested neighbourhoods of New Delhi, and is surrounded by hundreds of shops and houses lining a maze of crowded alleyways.

Bukhari appealed to people to remain calm and said evening prayers would take place as usual.

“People were walking around and suddenly, boom, there was a bomb,” said Mohammed Salaudi, who was inside the mosque when the first of the explosions took place.

Salaudi said he saw at least three people with blood on their legs and torso, after the explosion which took place in the main courtyard of the complex, but not inside the building.

Police began letting people enter the main mosque for evening prayers and hundreds of worshippers were back in the mosque less than two hours after the blasts.

“Who would do something like this? What sort of person is this?” wondered Mustafa Iqbal, a trader, who had come for evening prayers.

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