NEW DELHI — A bomb that may have been hidden in a briefcase killed at least 10 people and injured 47 outside New Delhi’s High Court Wednesday in the worst attack in India’s capital in three years.
In a statement to parliament, Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said it was too early to identify those responsible for the bombing. He said the country’s intelligence agencies had warned Delhi police in July that there was a risk of a terrorist attack in the city “emanating from certain groups.”
“At this point in time I appeal to the house and the people of the country that we must remain resolute and united,” Chidambaram told lawmakers. “We should never be intimidated by terrorist groups, we are determined to track down the perpetrators of this horrific crime and bring them to justice.”
Wednesday’s attack was the worst in India since July, when 25 people were killed in the financial capital of Mumbai as three bombs ripped through the city during the evening rush hour. At the location of the blast in Delhi Wednesday ambulances evacuated the wounded and the area was sealed off by armed police.
“It was a devastating scene,” said Mayank Mishra, 27, a lawyer at the court. “I saw bodies, people with broken arms and legs and flesh on the floor.”
Delhi was put on high alert as Chidambaram said investigations had begun into who planted the high-intensity bomb that was most likely concealed in a briefcase. A small device detonated in the court’s car park in May, with no injuries. Police said at the time the blast was deliberate, although no suspects were arrested and no motive for the attack was given.
“This is a cowardly act of a terrorist nature,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in televised comments from Bangladesh, where he is on a two-day visit. “This is a long war in which all political parties, all the people of India stand united so the scourge of terrorism is crushed.”