5 dead, 50 Injured in Bomb Blast in ISKCON Temple in India

IMPHAL, Aug 18: At least five persons were killed and 50 others, incluing five American and three French nationals, injured when a powerful bomb exploded in the complex of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on Wednesday evening when the shrine was teeming with Janmasthami devotees.

The toll might go up because some of those who suffered injuries were in critical condition, sources in the Regional Institute of Medical Science and Hospital said.

A 10-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman were among the dead, the sources said.

Hospital sources said three French and five American nationals were among those who sustained splinter injuries in the blast which took place at around 7pm. Earlier reports had spoken about injury to only one foreigner.

Several important persons, including chief priest of the ISKCON’S Damodar Das, were among those who were hit by splinters of the bomb which was reportedly hurled at the Tulihal airport area in Imphal West district of Manipur this by some unidentified persons.

Reports said that Monday being the birthday of Lord Krishna, there was a huge gathering of people at the ISKCON complex, about five kilometres south of the capital city.

No individual or organisation has claimed responsibility for the explosions, official sources said.

Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh visited the hospital and strongly condemned the incident.

Official sources said investigation would be ordered to find out how insurgents or militants infiltrated the state capital complex in spite of heavy security deployment.

The spot where the bomb exploded falls under high security zone in the state capital, sources said adding the area was also under the surveillance of security forces.

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PTI, via DaijiWorld.com, India
Aug. 18, 2006

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)