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Terrorism & Security

New Delhi bombings seen as declaration of 'war'

Blasts that killed 20 in the Indian capital on Saturday are forcing the government to confront a domestic terrorist group. But some officials still point the finger at longtime rival Pakistan.

By David Montero / September 15, 2008

A string of blasts in India's capital on Saturday is forcing authorities there to confront a domestic terrorist group, even as some are pointing the finger at Pakistan.

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"Five explosions within half an hour caused havoc in one of the city's central parks and crowded shopping areas on Saturday evening – one of the busiest times of the weekend," the English-language daily The Hindu reported on Sunday. Police also launched raids across New Delhi, "detaining about a dozen people as part of efforts to track down the bombers responsible for a series of blasts that left more than 20 dead and a further 100 injured."

A home-grown Indian terrorist group was said to be responsible, according to Agence France-Presse.

The attacks were claimed by the Indian Mujahideen, a shadowy Muslim militant group that also owned responsibility for bombings in July that killed at least 45 people in the cities of Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
In the past, India has blamed neighboring Pakistan for orchestrating attacks on Indian soil, but the emergence of the Indian Mujahideen has forced authorities to confront the specter of an effective, home-grown militant force. Security experts say the formation of the outfit may be an effort to create a fresh identity for groups banned by the Indian government over the past few years such as the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The Business Standard of India reports that, according to an e-mail sent to the media shortly before the blasts, the attacks are retribution for India's mistreatment of its 130 million Muslims.

The Indian Mujahideen, the terrorist group that claimed to have executed Saturday's serial blasts in the capital, is apparently seeking revenge against the perceived 'injustices' on Muslims across India – demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 and the Gujarat riots of 2002....
Seeking inspiration from the Allah and the Quranic verses, this group, which is believed to be headed by Subhan alias Tauqir, a former Wipro employee, also refers to "killings of Muslim brethren in Kashmir" during the recent Amarnath land crisis and the "atrocities" unleashed on the "innocent" Muslims in the aftermath of recent blasts in Gujarat.

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