Suspects arrested following Indian bomb attacks

Suspects arrested following Indian bomb attacks

Suspects arrested following Indian bomb attacks

Updated 19 December 2011, 15:58 AEDT

Authorities in the western Indian city of Jaipur have imposed a dawn-to-dusk curfew in parts of the city, a day after eight bombs exploded in a busy evening market, killing 63 people and injuring more than 200 others.

The bombs, some of which were strapped to bicycles, blew up near a large temple and a popular market.

On Wednesday Reuters says the area was mostly deserted, with a few people returning to retrieve their belongings from damaged cars, and the streets were littered with glass and bloodstains.

"It was very scary and most of us just ran as there was smoke and cries for help in every direction," said Anil Saxena, a businessman at a popular jewellery market.

Police have detained several people in relation to the attacks.

"We have detained two to three persons for questioning," said Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of Rajasthan state. "We have got slender leads, but not a definite lead in the case".

Investigation underway

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, which went off within minutes of eachother, although analysts say they fear Islamist militants might be trying to undermine a fragile peace process between India and Pakistan.

A terrorism expert and head of the Asia-Pacific Foundation in London, MJ Gohel, told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program the attack may also have been the work of Al Qaeda.

"It's early days yet, but the modus operandi, the fingerprints of this attack, do point very clearly to Al Qaeda or an Al Qaeda-linked group," he said.

"We've seen this happening before, where Al Qaeda-linked groups have used soft symbolic targets to attack".

He says the suspicions are currently falling upon the group Huji, established by Osama bin Laden in 1992, and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Mr Gohel says there is also the possibility the attacks were aimed at stoking sectarian tension, to derail the peace process between India and Muslim-dominated Pakistan.

"The peace process between India and Pakistan is still extremely fragile, India's constant complaint is that a lot of terrorists are coming across the border from Pakistan," he said.

"Indeed as we've seen in a number of attacks across the world, the trail has led back to Pakistan where Al Qaeda and other extremist groups have established their headquarters".

Blasts came a week before high-level Pakistan visit

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to visit Pakistan next week to review the four-year-old peace process with Pakistan.

The attacks have been condemned by Pakistan.

"Pakistan condemns all acts of terrorism," Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said in a statement.

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