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: 46 dead in twin Mumbai blasts

: 46 dead in twin Mumbai blasts.


At least 46 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a pair of explosions that shook India's financial capital Mumbai, according to hospital officials.

One of the blasts occurred near the colonial-era Gateway to India monument -- a famous landmark and popular tourist attraction -- during lunch-hour.

Another blast struck in or close to one of the city's main Hindu temples.

The explosive devices were inside the trunks of two taxis, police said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, which occurred during the busy lunch time period, but police say they suspect militant Islamic groups who have been blamed in the past for several bomb attacks in Mumbai.

There were also earlier reports of an explosion outside the main central railway station, Chhatrapati Sivaji Terminus, also known as Victoria Terminus, but that has not been confirmed.

Bomb squads were at the scenes of the explosions, police officials told CNN.

The Gateway to India is situated close to one of Mumbai's top hotels, the Taj Mahal and reports say several windows in the hotel were blown out by the blast.

Stock prices on the Mumbai stock exchange initially plunged 120 points on news of the blasts, but stabilized shortly afterwards. (Stocks slide)

Sources in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, say police have sealed off the city to ensure no one can leave or enter.

Monday's blasts were the eighth such incident in as many months and the worst attack in Mumbai since 1993.

Security forces in the city have been on high alert following a series of bomb explosions on buses across the Mumbai metropolitan area over the past several months.

The most recent bus bombing took place on July 29, killing four people on board a packed commuter bus in the commercial heart of the city.

Police at the time said they suspected the attack was carried out by a militant group, the Lashker-e-Taiba -- one of two Pakistan-based Islamic militant groups that New Delhi says was behind an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.

Pakistan, which has denied a role in the parliament attack, condemned Monday's blasts in Mumbai.

"We deplore these attacks and we sympathize with the victims and their families, foreign ministry spokesman Masood Khan told reporters in Islamabad.

"We condemn all acts of terror and I think that such wanton targeting of civilians should be condemned in the strongest possible terms."

Hindu-Muslim violence

In 1993, a wave of bombings hit several buildings in Mumbai, killing at least 250 people and injuring dozens more.

Those blasts were blamed on underworld gangs seeking to avenge Muslim deaths during Hindu-Muslim riots following the destruction of a mosque in the holy city of Ayodhya in northern India by a Hindu mob. (History of violence)

Monday's explosions follow the release of an archeological report into the mosque site. Hindus claim the Islamic mosque was built on a holy Hindu site. But Muslims dispute this and claim the site themselves.

Details from the highly anticipated report emerged on Monday, saying that experts found that an ancient structure did in fact exist on the disputed site but there was fierce disagreement about whether it was a Hindu temple. (Full story)

Police in Mumbai have initially ruled out a link between the explosions and the report.



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