Blasts shake oldest Buddhist shrine in India

Featured India - July 8th, 2013
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A series of blasts at India’s holiest Buddhist shrine wounded two monks on Sunday.

Multiple small bombs shook the Bodh Gaya temple complex in eastern India in what the government described as “terror attacks”, AFP reports.

Two more explosives were found and defused, one of them near the temple’s celebrated 80-ft-tall statue of the Buddha.

The historic temple itself was not damaged, authorities said.

“Eight low-intensity serial blasts took place early this morning, injuring two people,” said senior police official S.K. Bharadwaj.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts at the shrine which also houses dozens of monasteries and the holy bodhi tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment.

But police said they earlier warned officials that Islamic militants could target the site to avenge Buddhist violence against Muslims in neighboring Myanmar, reports AFP.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated,” Singh said.