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Man held after blasts at India's main Buddhist shrine

Nine explosions at Bodhgaya temple: Muslim terror group suspected

Man held after blasts at India's main Buddhist shrine

Bodhgaya temple (picture: Shutterstock)

Swati Deb, New Delhi
India

July 8, 2013

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The Indian federal government has directed all states to ensure foolproof security at Buddhist shrines and Tibetan settlements across the country after nine bomb blasts rocked the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, the country’s holiest Buddhist shrine, yesterday.

The low intensity blasts injured two Buddhist monks, including a student monk from Myanmar, grievously and left damage marks in the temple complex.

The blasts are suspected to have been triggered by Indian Mujahideen, a Muslim terror group.

Investigating officials say the materials used in the bombs strongly indicate the involvement of Muslim terrorists in the attacks.

Local police detained a person yesterday in connection with the blasts and he is currently being interviewed, said Nayyer Hasnain Khan, deputy inspector general.

A member of the Indian Mujahideen was arrested in Kolkata the night before the blast, in possession of explosives and counterfeit Indian currency.

"He was held on Saturday night and Kolkata police feel it is possible that Indian Mujahideen activists supplied the explosives for the blast,"  a federal Home Ministry official told ucanews.com.

The explosions are also linked to the recent spate of violence in neighboring Myanmar, targeting the minority Rohingya Muslims. Security analyst Ram Bilas told ucanews.com that the attack on the Bodhgaya temple may have been in retaliation for the anti-Muslim riots in Buddhist Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

"This calls for a more focused approach in a multi-religious country like India. Incidents in foreign countries can always have their fallout in this country, making it a soft target," Bilas said.

There are also reports that besides the federal Intelligence bureau, Delhi police last year alerted the Bihar government that the Indian Mujahideen could target Buddhist shrines.

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