New Delhi: Five bomb blasts rocked popular shopping destinations in the national capital within a span of 22 minutes on Saturday evening killing at least 20 people and leaving over 100 injured.
The first blast took place at Ghaffar Market in the Karol Bagh area at about 1815 hrs IST in which 16 people were killed and over 20 injured.
Soon after the blast in Ghaffar market, two explosions took place in Connaught Place killing four people.
The two blasts in Connaught place took place at the Central Park near Palika Bazaar and at Barakhamba Road.
There were two blasts in Greater Kailash-I, too, with the first one taking place near Levi's store and the other blast took place near the Prince Pan Corner damaging 10 shops.
The blasts were of low intensity and ball bearings were used to maximise the impact.
Police officials said about one and a half kilograms of Ammonium Nitrate and steel balls were used in each of the bombs which were synchronized with an Integrated Circuit(IC).
Most of those injured have been admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.
At RML Hospital, 65 people were brought in injured and eight declared dead upon arrival. Later two more people succumbed to their injuries raising the death toll to 10 at the hospital.
An eyewitness at RML hospital Shammi Chopra said, "I saw the blast at about 100 meters. There was chaos everywhere. There are about seven to eight injured and five dead."
The Indian Mujahadeen claimed responsibility for the blasts in an e-mail sent just before the blasts.
Joint Commissioner of Police Karnail Singh said, “Initial leads indicate that same group that was behind Jaipur and Ahmedabad blasts is behind Delhi blasts as well.”
Joint Commissioner of Police Ajay Kashyap said an unexploded bomb was recovered near India Gate. Officials also added that two bombs – one of them in Regal cinema hall - have been defused in the Connaught Place area.
Most of the bombs were planted in garbage bins kept at public places probably to avoid suspicion.
In the past, terrorist had chosen items like tiffin-boxes and bicycles for planting bombs.
Police detained four people including a 12-year-old boy, who was a key eye-witness, in connection with the blasts, the fourth this year after serial explosions in Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
The next of kin of those killed have been given compensation of Rs 8 lakh--Rs 5 lakh by the Delhi Government and Rs 3 lakh by the Centre.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said the blasts have been engineered by people who want to create disharmony and disturb the social texture and expressed confidence that their designs would be defeated by people maintaining social harmony.
The Delhi Government has also decided to provide free medical treatment for those injured in the blasts.
It being a weekend, all the blast sites were teeming with people on weekend shopping.
Timings of blasts in Delhi: 1811 hrs IST: Karol Bagh’s Ghaffar Market.
1830 hrs IST: Central Park, Connaught Place
1833 hrs IST: Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place
1829 hrs IST: Greater Kailash-1, M-Block Market, M-9
1833 hrs IST: Greater Kailash -1, M-Block Market, M-29
Delhi Police Helpline Number: Delhi Police helpline number: 011-23490312
RML Hospital Helpline Number: 011-23365525, 23404040
Sucheta Kriplani Hospital number: 011-23363698, 23363788, 23363778<table width="248" border="0"> <tr> <td><div align="center"><img src="http://www.ibnlive.com/pix/sitepix/09_2008/130908blastmapdetailed248.jpg" width="248" height="178" border="1"></div></td> </tr> <tr> <td class='Gtext10 lineheight12'> <div align="left">THE TERROR TRAIL: Places where bomb blasts took place on Saturday evening.</div></td> </tr> </table>