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Bombings may threaten India-Pakistan relations

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Other observers say the "Indian Mujahideen" was coined to cover the involvement of Pakistani groups, although few here doubt that Indian Muslims are involved at some level.

Saturday's bombings occurred in two waves. The first series of explosions detonated in crowded markets; the second wave, less than half an hour later, targeted two hospitals where the injured had been taken. Television footage showed blood-covered victims writhing in agony on hospital floors. In all, there were 17 explosions, caused by crudely made devices that peppered victims with red-hot ball bearings and shrapnel.

The day before, one person was killed and six wounded when eight bombs exploded in quick succession in Bangalore. No group has claimed responsibility for the Bangalore bombings.

Communal conflict?

Both attacks – like the one in Jaipur – occurred in states run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India's main opposition party.

Ahmedabad, the main city in Gujarat, is especially vulnerable to communal tensions. In 2002, a train fire that killed members of a Hindu nationalist group sparked Hindu-Muslim riots in which over 2,000 people, most of them Muslim, died.

"Await five minutes for the revenge of Gujarat," read an e-mail sent to television stations, purportedly from the Indian Mujahideen, moments before Saturday's explosions.

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