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Blasts in Jama Masjid, many hurt

A Red Alert has been sounded in Delhi following blasts in the Masjid Complex on Good Friday.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 19:08 IST

Several people were injured in twin blasts that rocked Jama Masjid in Delhi's old quarters around 5.30 pm on Friday, eyewitnesses and police said.

A Red Alert has been sounded in the national Capital following the explosions on Good Friday.

While no casualties have been reported, TV reports said that five injured people had been rushed to the Lok Narayan Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital.

The first explosion took place at around 5 pm when devotees were preparing for 'Asar' (evening) prayer near a pond used by them for ablution.

Fifteen minutes later another blast rocked the place, eye witnesses said.

According to Syed Ahmed Bukhari, there were two blasts that occurred just as Friday prayers had concluded.

"I appeal to both Hindus and Muslims to remain calm and not to get provoked. We are angry but we are keeping our anger under control," he said.

According to him, there were about 1,000 people in the mosque at the time of the blast. The blasts occurred hours after four blasts in Srinagar left four people dead and injured 15.

Announcements were made on the public address system asking people to leave the premises.

Top police officials immediately rushed to the spot and the entire area was cordoned off.

There was a near stampede situation as people scrambled for safety, one eyewitness said.

Five fire tenders, ambulances and police squads have also rushed to the spot.

Eyewitnesses said the explosives were suspected to have been kept in plastic bags. Plumes of black smoke engulfed the area.

Police is searching the premises and the area around it to look for more explosives.

Immediately after the blasts, police in full strength was deployed in the communally-sensitive and congested locality to prevent untoward incidents.

Hardly a month and seven days ago, fifteen people were killed and over 100 injured in twin blasts in Varanasi on March 7 that police say Bangladeshi fundamentalists had triggered.