Indian temple blast kills 5
GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - The death toll in a bomb explosion at a Hindu temple in India’s northeastern state of Manipur rose to five, and at least 35 people including foreign devotees were wounded, police said on Thursday.
The explosion occurred near the state capital Imphal during prayers on Wednesday to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god, Krishna.
Two Americans, a French and an Iranian women, who were at the temple run by ISKCON, the international Krishna consciousness movement, were among the injured. A nine-year-old local boy died in the blast.
An intelligence official said some unidentified people had warned ISKCON officials not to hold any functions on Wednesday, when the rest of the country marked one of its biggest festivals.
Nearly a dozen guerrilla groups operate in Manipur, a Hindu-majority state of 2.6 million, some fighting for independence and others for autonomy and greater rights for local tribes.
The intelligence official said the attack may have been carried out by one of the local groups as part of a campaign to revive indigenous Hindu practices and discourage new religious movements like ISKCON.
Manipur is part of India’s remote and turbulent northeast - seven states which are home to more than two dozen separatist groups and over 200 tribals and ethnic communities.