I spent the last six hours of my Saturday evening (September 13 here in India) watching a familiar tragedy unfold in the capital city of New Delhi and calling up friends and family to make sure they are okay: five bombs went off in under 30 minutes in three crowded market areas, leaving 20 dead and over a 100 injured. Four live bombs have also been diffused in other parts of the city.
The body count may increase by the time I wake up tomorrow morning, but hey, we are a billion people. Twenty dead. Fifty dead. A hundred dead. Who's counting? This is routine fare now.
About two months ago, I was greeted by another series of blasts in the southern city of Bengaluru (Bangalore) where I am now, only to be followed by string of blasts in the western city of Ahmedabad. Now, as my vacation is coming to a close, New Delhi happens.
The Delhi blasts come at a crucial time -- highly lucrative for big-impact attacks. We are in the midst of our festival season that will run through December. Markets and shopping malls are sure-shot crowd-pullers on Saturday evenings.
A group called the Indian Mujahideen have claimed responsibility for the attacks. They did so for the previous blasts as well. We are clueless thus far, expect that the email has been traced to somebody in Mumbai (Bombay). [The previous one was traced to an American citizen living in Mumbai. He was cleared of any charges, of course. His email was allegedly hacked into. So there. End of trail]
The last terror attacks in Delhi were in 2005, also during the festival season. Over 50 died in the three blasts in crowded market places.
I can't believe all I am writing from India is about terror attacks.
More when I get back.
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