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Islamic group behind Indian bombings

An obscure Kashmiri militant group – Inqilab – claimed responsibility on Sunday for the three blasts in New Delhi, which killed 61 people and injured 188 others, reports the Pakistani Daily Times.

“Such attacks will continue until India pulls out all its troops from the state of Kashmir and stops inhuman activities in the state,” Ahmad Yar Ghaznavi, the group’s spokesman, was quoted as saying by a local news agency.

Reporters, who received the calls from Inqilab, said the caller did not sound Kashmiri. Indian television channels claimed that Inqilab was an offshoot of pro-Pakistan Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Police said they had no record of the existence of Inqilab.

New Delhi police say investigators detained over 20 people in raids on several small hotels on Sunday in a hunt for people linked to terrorist bombings. Police declared a state of emergency and closed all city markets after the Saturday evening blasts.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denounced the apparently coordinated bombings, describing them as “dastardly acts of terrorism.” “These blasts have been timed to create disaffection during the festival season,” Singh said in a brief television statement. “We shall defeat their nefarious designs and will not allow them to succeed. We are resolute in our commitment to fighting terrorism,” he added.

The bombs hit New Delhi just as talks were getting underway in Islamabad over the proposal to allow Kashmiris affected by the recent earthquake to visit relatives and receive aid across the de facto border.

Following the weekend talks, the two sides said they had agreed to a limited opening of five crossing points from November 7 in line with a proposal from Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf.