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Terrorist attack in commerce capital marks 2nd bloodbath within 3 years
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“President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the government and the people of Pakistan have condemned the blasts in Mumbai and expressed distress on the loss of lives and injuries,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.
In Washington, President Obama also condemned the “outrageous attacks.”
“The American people will stand with the Indian people in times of trial, and we will offer support to India’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to justice,” he said in a statement. “I have no doubt that India will overcome these deplorable terrorist attacks.”
Mumbai is open to the Arabian Sea and comprises seven islands that routinely bustle with about 20.5 million people who migrate from all over India to find work. The city is the capital of the western state of Maharashtra and is India’s financial center.
A senior police official in Mumbai said the explosions tore through the Dadar West, Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar areas of the city - each a heavily traveled, tony neighborhood with shops, restaurants and train stops.
One bomb exploded in a car in Dadar West near a railway station in central Mumbai, and another bomb was detonated in a jewelry shop in Zaveri Bazaar, witnesses said.
The city has been on edge since the 2008 attack. In December, authorities deployed extra police on city streets after receiving intelligence that a Pakistan-based militant group was planning an attack over New Year’s weekend.
In March 2010, Mumbai police said they prevented a major terrorist strike after they arrested two Indian men, who, police said, were preparing to hit several targets in the city. In September, police issued a terror alert for the city during a popular Hindu festival.
Last month, India and Pakistan held their first formal talks on the disputed region of Kashmir since the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Both nuclear-armed nations claim Kashmir in its entirety, and have fought two of their three wars over the region since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
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