Terror returns

The 10-month lull after the Pune bakery blast was shattered on Tuesday when terror returned with a low-grade explosion at the evening Ganga aarti in Varanasi, killing a one-year-old girl and leaving over 35 others injured. Foreigners were among those injured. The crude device went off at 6.40 pm at the old Dasaswamedh Ghat just as the aarti had begun.Mercifully,the crowd was thin for the popular aarti on Tuesday as the city was under red alert due to the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary, which was on Monday. The Indian Mujahideen (IM) claimed responsibility for the blast in an email sent from somewhere close to Link Road in Malad (west) in Mumbai. The group said the blast was meant to “avenge” the Babri demolition. It also attacked the Allahabad high court verdict on the Babri dispute.
Intelligence agencies are, however, verifying the IM claim. Unlike previous occasions, there was a 30-minute gap between the blast and the email. Intel sources said the low-intensity explosion possibly indicated an attempt by the terror group to earn propaganda points rather than inflict large-scale casualties. The ATS in charge, additional director general of police(ADG)Brij Lal,said the explosives were kept in a milk van that had been parked under the main staircase of the ghat. Parts of a timer device were also recovered from the site. Explosives experts are trying to establish if the timer was used to trigger the blast. In Delhi, Union home secretary G K Pillai confirmed that it was a terror attack. Countrywide, cities have been put on a high alert.
The blast site 2 km from Sankatmochan temple, attacked on March 7, 2006, which was also a Tuesday

IM mail, sent from alfateh00005@gmail.com, traced to Malad in Mumbai
1-year-old Swastika Sharma killed by blast injuries. Her mother in serious condition
Several foreigners injured, tourism may be hit

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