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Bomb Blasts Kill 30, Injuring 190 in India
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Four blasts rocked Malegaon town in southwest Indian state Maharashtra Friday afternoon, killing at least 30 and injuring about 190 others.

In a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for peace and communal harmony and urged all citizens across the country to remain calm.

Four blasts took place Friday afternoon. One of the bombs exploded outside an old mosque near a cemetery when devotees were coming out after Friday prayer. But some media reports said that there were two bomb blasts.

The loud bangs reverberated in the town, sparking panic and a made run for safety as the mostly male audience began to run. The resultant stampede killed many children who were playing near the steps leading to the mosque.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil also issued a statement condemning the blasts and suggested that they are an attempt to disturb communal harmony.

A curfew has been imposed in the city while a Rapid Action Force is being dispatched to the city.

A statewide alert has been sounded by the Maharashtra police and mobile networks have been jammed in Malegaon.

Friday is Shab-e-barat, a festival where the local Muslim community visits cemeteries to offer prayers for the dead.

Malegaon is located in northwest Maharashtra, 300 kilometers from the state capital Mumbai, where seven serial blasts killed 186 in July. And 75 percent of the population of Malegaon is Muslim.

After the Malegaon blasts, the national capital was on a high alert as well.

Security check has been stepped up at all vital installations and places of worship in Delhi.

The police have started a tight vigil at crowded places, including railway and bus stations, cinema halls and market places.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2006)

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