ByÂ Ariel Zirulnick, Christian Science Monitor
A day after three blasts rockedÂ Mumbai, killing at least 17 people and injuring 131, the Indian government says it has no leads on suspects and will refrain for now from assigning any blame. The possibility that the blasts were intended to derail upcomingÂ India–Pakistantalks has been floated in the media repeatedly, but officials have assiduously avoided acknowledging any suspicions they may have of a connection.
The three bombings in three different locations happened at rush hour on Wednesday in heavily congested areas of India’s commercial capital.
Home Minister P Chidambaram acknowledged thatÂ India lived in a “troubled neighborhood.” He said that Pakistan andÂ Afghanistan are at the “epicenter” of terrorism and that the possibility the attacks had ties to Pakistan would be explored, according to theÂ Hindustan Times.
â€œI do agree that the Indo-Pak talks will be held this month, in 10 days from now. We are not ruling out any angle. We will probe every angle,â€ he said. The Indian government so far insists that the talks will still happen, but Mr. Chidambaram noted that â€œIndia has made it clear time and again, an atmosphere free of violence is a necessity” for improving bilateral ties.
While the Mumbai blasts dominated the homepages of all the major Indian news sites and most featured stories exploring a Pakistan link, it received only wire agency coverage in The Dawn and The News International, two major English-language Pakistani newspapers.
Reactions in the Indian press hint at frustration and dismay about what seems to be an insurmountable problem. There have been five attacks on Mumbai in the past two decades, most recently the November 2008 attack.
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