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News ->Bomb Blasts in Holy City of Varanasi

(7 March 2006)

Varanasi TemplesBritish Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells, has condemned the series of attacks earlier today in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi in Northern India. Blasts were reported in at least three locations in the Northeast Indian city: at the Sankat Mochan temple, where Hindus were gathered for devotions; inside a train that had stopped at the city's main train station; and near a ticket counter inside the station.

"I was horrified to hear of today's bombings in Varanasi, which resulted in the loss of innocent lives, and injury to many other victims. On behalf of the British Government I totally condemn this indiscriminate violence. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims, and with the Government and people of India, at this time." said Kim Howells.

"The attack in Varanasi follows a series of other terrorist atrocities in India. It demonstrates once more the evil that the world continues to face. We remain determined to work closely alongside India in its fight against this evil."

The Hindu Forum of Britain, UK's representative umbrella organisation for British Hindus, has also condemned the bomb blasts in the Indian holy city, Varanasi, which reportedly killed 15 persons and injured 60 others.

"It is most unfortunate that terrorism has reared its head once again in an attempt to divide the communities in India,' commented Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. 'The fact that they have targeted one of Hinduism's most sacred cities seems to suggest they want to exploit communal tensions. Many British Hindus are deeply concerned about the developments in India and hope that people from all communities will remain united in defeating the terrorist agenda.'

Sectarian tensions have risen in the region recently, with three people dying in communal riots in the nearby city of Lucknow on March 3. The strife was apparently triggered when armed Muslims tried to force Hindu merchants to shut their shops to protest against U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Pakistan.


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