Islamic group claims Delhi bombs

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The Independent Online

Police are trawling slums and criminal hideouts in India's capital rounding up suspects after serial bombings in the city on Saturday killed at least 21 people and wounded nearly 100.

Police said they were pursuing several leads, including talking to an 11-year-old boy who said he had seen two men drop off a large plastic bag at one of the blast sites.

At hospitals, relatives of victims accused police of failing to protect them. "Down with the police," they shouted, some with tears in their eyes. "We don't trust you any more."

"Helpless?" read the banner headline of the Sunday Times newspaper, expressing growing frustration at the inability of authorities to prevent a string of bomb attacks in recent months.

Some women prayed at a small temple inside one of the hospitals. Others cried. Some rushed about frantically looking for their missing relatives.

"He is my brother, Ramesh. Please help me trace him," said Sarabjit Singh, pointing to a photograph.

At least five bombs exploded in quick succession in crowded markets and streets in the heart of Delhi on Saturday night.

A group calling itself the Indian Mujahedin sent an email to television stations shortly after the first explosion saying it was responsible.

The group, believed to be an offshoot of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India, has sent similar emails before or after several major attacksin India in recent months. "Eye for an eye. The dust will never settle down," the Hindustan Times quoted the email as saying. "Our intense, accurate and successive attacks ... will continue to punish you even before your earlier wounds have healed," it said, referring to bomb attacks in Indian cities in May and July that together killed more than 120.

Throughout Saturday night, hundreds of people, mostly residents of the Delhi suburbs hit by bombs, were questioned before being allowed to go.

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