India probes ‘terror’ blasts that kill 21 in Mumbai

MUMBAI, July 14, 2011 (AFP) – Indian investigators Thursday probed triple bomb blasts that killed 21 people in Mumbai, the nation’s commercial capital which is still emerging from the shadows of the deadly 2008 militant attacks. The strongest of the coordinated explosions hit busy districts in the south of the city, the same area targeted two and half years ago by Pakistan-based militants who caused mayhem in a 60-hour siege that left 166 people dead.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who arrived at the scene hours after Wednesday night’s attack along with forensic experts and anti-terror commandos from New Delhi, earlier told reporters it was “a coordinated attack by terrorists”.

The most powerful devices exploded at a wholesale gold market and a district housing diamond traders and jewellery shops in southern Mumbai, while a third blast occurred in a middle-class area to the north.

“It is another attack on the heart of India,” said the chief minister of Maharashtra state, Prithviraj Chavan, who described it as a “challenge to Indian sovereignty”. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks.

The home ministry gave the death toll and said 141 injured victims had been taken to 11 city hospitals, many of