Accessibility links

Riots Break Out in India Following Mosque Bombing - 2003-11-21

In India, a bomb blast at a mosque in the western city of Parbhani has injured more than 20 people and caused riots to break out. The bombing took place during weekly prayers to mark the Islamic holy day, Friday.

Authorities say at least two men riding motorcycles threw a bomb into the mosque in Parbhani, located some 500 kilometers east of Bombay. The blast quickly triggered a spurt of violence in the area, with mobs throwing stones and setting fire to cars and shops.

The bomb went off as people were leaving the mosque after midday prayers. The blast happened just before the start of Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

India's population of more than a billion people is predominantly Hindu. Hindus and India's Muslim minority, who make up 12 percent of the population, sometimes clash in bloody confrontations.

So far authorities have not said who they think is responsible for the attack.

Three months ago, two car bombs rocked India's financial center, Bombay. Fifty-two people were killed in that attack and more than 150 were injured. Police blame that attack on an outlawed Muslim student group, working with a Pakistan-based militant group fighting in the disputed region of Kashmir.

Parts of western India have gained a reputation for religious strife. More than two thousand people were killed in the state of Gujarat last year in rioting between Muslims and Hindus.

Authorities in Parbhani have deployed more security personnel and imposed a curfew to restore order to the city.