Share This Page

3 blasts strike Buddhist sites

| Sunday, July 7, 2013, 9:27 p.m.

PATNA, India — A series of blasts hit three Buddhist sites in eastern India early on Sunday, injuring at least two people and drawing condemnation from the prime minister.

Senior police officer S.K. Bhardwaj said a gate at one of the two temples that was hit was badly damaged in Bodhgaya, a town 80 miles south of Patna, the capital of Bihar state. No other damage was reported to the Buddhist sites.

Junior Home Minister R.P.N. Singh said that no one claimed responsibility for the explosions and that an investigation would be carried out to determine who was involved.

Four blasts took place on the grounds of the Mahabodhi Temple, or the Great Awakening Temple, Bhardwaj said. Four explosions were reported at the nearby Karma temple and at a site with a 180-foot-tall Buddhist tower.

Abhyanand, the director-general of state police, said the blasts ranged from low to high intensity. He said police recovered two unexploded bombs, which were defused in the area. Abhyanand uses only one name.

A Tibetan and a pilgrim from Myanmar received minor injuries in the blast at the Mahabodhi Temple and were taken to a hospital, Bhardwaj said.

temple gate was badly damaged.

Another explosion damaged an empty tourist bus parked near the Mahabodhi Temple, he said. The temple is a UNESCO world heritage site where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

There were few people at the popular pilgrimage centers, which were targeted for the first time, Bhardwaj said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the blasts, saying “such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated.”

The Buddhist sites attract a large number of pilgrims, especially from Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, but the main pilgrimage starts in September.

Bhardwaj said there have been intelligence reports about the possibility of attacks on the sites, but he did not give any details.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.