India police sift for clues after deadly bomb blasts

JAIPUR, India, May 14, 2008 (AFP) – Police sifted for clues Wednesday after seven near-simultaneous bomb blasts tore through crowded markets in the Indian tourist city of Jaipur, killing at least 80 people. Police have detained one suspect over the attacks, which also targeted a packed Hindu temple, as schools and government offices shutdown Wednesday in a day of mourning across the western desert state of Rajasthan.

“One suspect was detained and is being investigated,” Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria told reporters.

More than 150 people were wounded in the explosions in Jaipur, known as the pink city because of its rose-hued hill top forts and palaces, and a favourite attraction for Indian and foreign tourists.

Police said seven blasts occurred within minutes of each other during the evening in crowded markets of historic Jaipur, about 260 kilometres (160 miles) from New Delhi.

“It’s a terror attack. There was no (intelligence) report of this,” police director general A.S. Gill told reporters.

Government officials usually blame Islamic militants based in Pakistan for such attacks, which have plagued India in recent years.

Junior home minister Shriprakash Jaiswal s