Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bombay Blasts Kill at Least 42

BOMBAY, India -- Bombs exploded in a crowded jewelry market and a historical landmark in Bombay on Monday, killing at least 42 people, wounding 150 others and shaking buildings in India's financial capital.

Police said the bombs had been hidden in the trunks of two taxis and exploded within five minutes of each other, the Press Trust of India said.

It quoted police as saying terrorists were to blame, however no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came hours after the release of a long-anticipated archaeological report on a religious site in northern India claimed by both Hindus and Muslims. The dispute has been linked to previous bombings.

A taxi driver was questioned in connection with the blasts, officials said.

Telephone lines were jammed and mobile phone services briefly crashed as panicked residents called family and friends.

Police issued security alerts for Bombay and New Delhi, the Indian capital, after the explosions, calling policemen back from leave in case of further trouble.

The bombings killed at least 42 people, said Sushil Kumar Shinde, chief minister of Maharashtra, the state where Bombay is located. Javed Ahmed, a police commissioner for Bombay, said at least 150 people were injured in the explosions. "Blasts in a crowded place in Bombay are aimed at creating terror," he said.

Asked whether the explosions could have been to avenge killings last year in the western state of Gujarat -- violence sparked by reaction to the disputed religious site -- Ahmed said: "It could be that."

One explosion was at the Gateway of India, a famous seaside landmark and tourist attraction built by India's former British colonizers to commemorate the 1911 visit of King George V, he said. The other bomb rocked the Zaveri Bazaar, a crowded market of jewelry stores, said a police official who asked not to be identified. Both spots are in southern Bombay.

Nuclear rival Pakistan, with whom India has engaged in decades of bloodshed, condemned the attacks.

The carnage shocked even those accustomed to bloodshed. "I have never seen anything so horrible," said S. Manoj, a doctor at Bombay's J.J. Hospital. Manoj said some of the injured had been trampled in stampedes after the explosions, and came in with multiple broken bones.

In March, a bomb attack on a Bombay train, which police blamed on Islamic militants, killed 11 people and wounded 64 others. That explosion came a day after the 10th anniversary of a series of bombings in Bombay -- also blamed on Islamic militants -- that killed more than 250 people and injured 1,000. Police say they were retaliation for the 1992 destruction by Hindu mobs of the 16th-century Ayodhya mosque, and to avenge Muslim deaths in riots that followed. Some Hindus claim the mosque was built on the ruins of a Hindu temple that marked the birthplace of their supreme god, Rama.

The report, issued by the government archaeological agency, indicated there had been some sort of ancient structure at the site, lawyers for both sides said, though they disagreed on whether it said there had actually been a temple. It was released to lawyers and has not been made available to the public or media.