British travellers to India have been put on high alert against terrorist attacks following three blasts which killed 18 people and left dozens injured in Mumbai yesterday on Wednesday evening.
The UK Foreign Office said: “British nationals in Mumbai are advised to remain indoors and follow the media. Major cities in India are on high alert and British nationals in other cities should exercise caution.”
Foreign secretary William Hague condemned the attacks as “deplorable acts of terrorism”. He said: “We are committed to working with the Indian government and our allies and partners to combat the threat from terrorism. A Foreign Office consular team is already in Mumbai to provide consular support to any British nationals who may have been caught up in these events, and the Foreign Office is in close contact with the Indian authorities.”
The explosions happened at the Zaveri Bazaar, the Opera House and Dadar, a residential district. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place during evening rush hour. But the bombs appear to target the city’s business community, many of whom are from the neighbouring state of Gujarat where many people died in anti-Muslim pogroms in 2002.
All three bombs were reported within a 15-minute period, starting at around 6.50pm local time.
The Indian government revised the death toll from the blasts down from 21 to 17, and said 133 people had been injured.
The capital Delhi, Calcutta and several other cities have been put on alert, with the police presence stepped up in shopping centres, cinemas, parks and transport terminals.
Mumbai was targeted for attacks in 2008 which hit two luxury hotels, the main rail station, a Jewish centre and other sites frequented by foreigners.
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