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Indian bombings fit pattern of efforts to foment interreligious strife

Seven synchronized bombs exploded in the city of Jaipur Tuesday evening.

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Seven synchronized bombs exploded in the picturesque city of Jaipur Tuesday evening, killing more than 80 people and wounding more than 200. The bombs, the deadliest such attacks in India in nearly two years, appear to fit into an emerging pattern in India, in which bomb explosions occur every few months and are attributed to Islamic terrorists.

The government issued a national security alert and imposed a curfew in Jaipur, capital of the western desert state of Rajasthan.

Hours after the explosions, observers and officials speculated that those responsible wanted to undermine a peace process between India and Pakistan and to foment communal tensions.

There were, however, no claims of responsibility. India, though largely peaceful, is home to a number of militant groups, from Maoist rebels to secessionists in its northeast.

But most analysts say Islamic terrorists were behind the bombs. Some point out that India's foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, is due to visit Islamabad shortly to review the peace process between Pakistan and India, his first visit since a civilian government took over in Pakistan earlier this year.

They also note that the blasts occurred just days after gun battles erupted between the Indian Army and Islamic militants in the disputed region of Kashmir.

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