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(BosNewsLife) 7/12/2006- India’s Christian leaders were in a state of shock Wednesday, July 12, as officials confirmed at least 190 people died in eight bomb blasts that rocked first-class compartments of packed commuter trains in the country’s financial capital Mumbai, also known as Bombay.

The president of India’s influential Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), Sajan George, told BosNewsLife that his organization is “shocked and condemns the barbaric attacks on the innocent citizens of Mumbai” and in “Kashmir in India.”

In the Indian-controlled part of the disputed territory of Kashmir five grenade attacks in Srinagar killed eight persons Tuesday, July 11,”and injured many others tourists,” said the well-informed Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

Both attacks in Mumbai and Srinagar were blamed on Kashmiri, Muslim, militants who have repeatedly carried out nearly simultaneous explosions in attacks on Indian cities, including bombings last year at three markets in New Delhi.

PAKISTAN CONDEMNS BOMBINGS

Pakistan, India’s rival over the disputed territory condemned the late Tuesday bombings, but Indian government officials accused Pakistan of supporting Muslim militants.

George said the GCIC, known for fighting against what it sees as the increased persecution of Indian Christians, now stands “in solidarity with the whole nation and joins in expression of our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the 7/11 serial terror attacks.”

It was not immediately clear how many Christians were among them, but church leaders made clear the blasts seemed to be an attempt to disrupt the lives of all people in India, a predominantly Hindu nation

AIMED AT CARNAGE

Officials said especially the bombings appeared timed to inflict maximum carnage in Mumbay, a Arabian Sea port of 16 million, more than 6 million of whom reportedly ride the crowded rail network daily.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported that police had increased the death toll to 190 killed and 625 injured. In the hours immediately after the attacks, were quoted as saying 147 died and 439 injured.

Mumbay tried to limp back to normalcy, Wednesday , July 12, but it became clear it would take time for its population to come to terms with one of India’s worst terror attacks in recent years

BISHOP IN “SHOCK”

In a statement, monitored by BosNewsLife News Center, Bombay Archdiocesan Administrator Bishop Bosco Penha expressed “deep shock” over the blasts and “condemned the violence and condoled the huge loss of life.”

He said, “We convey our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their near and dear ones in these terrible blasts and pray for the deceased.”

The CBCI added it understood that “a series of blasts in first class compartments of suburban trains around” went off around “6 PM” local time at the Mahim, Bandra, Matunga, Borivili, Mira Road, Jogeshwari, Bayander and Khar stations.

MANY REPORTED INJURED

“It was the rush hour when people from offices were returning home. Some of the blasts ripped apart train compartments, killing and injuring many. A large [number] of injured people, including commuters of the blasts-hit trains w were admitted to various government and private hospitals in different parts of the city.”

Urging people to maintain calm, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, that the “series” of attacks in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai “are shocking and cowardly attempts.”

He said his “heart reaches out to all those affected by these blasts…Citizens of Mumbai have faced terror more than 10 years ago. I urge the people to stay calm, not believe rumors and carry on with their activities.”