14 Jul 2011

Police search for clues in Mumbai triple bombing

5:49 pm on 14 July 2011

Police in India are searching for clues about who was behind three coordinated bomb blasts that killed at least 17 people in Mumbai.

It is the biggest attack since Pakistani-based militants rampaged through the financial hub in November 2008, killing 166 people and raising tensions between the neighbouring countries.

Mumbai police blamed the attacks on Wednesday on the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamist group said to have support from militants in Pakistan.

The government lowered the death toll to 17 from an earlier figure of 21 killed, although the number could change, Reuters reports.

The blasts occurred about 6.45pm local time within minutes of each other. At least one car and a motorbike were used containing improvised explosive devices, officials said.

The biggest explosion was in the Opera House area, a hub for diamond traders. Pakistani-based militants carried out the bloody rampage in 2008 near the same popular area.

Another blast, also in south Mumbai, was at the Zaveri Bazaar, India's largest bullion market which was hit twice in the past.

The third blast was at Dadar, in a crowded street housing Muslim and Hindu shops in the centre of the coastal city.

India's Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram visited the blast sites as well as hospitals treating victims on Thursday.

The attacks came as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh struggles to get past a series of corruption scandals and a resurgent opposition that has led to policy paralysis in Asia's third largest economy.

A cabinet reshuffle this week was criticised as too little, too late.