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Blasts rock Indian Buddhist shrines

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A series of blasts has shaken India’s holiest Buddhist shrine, where the Buddha himself is said to have gained enlightenment, police said on Sunday.

Two people were injured in nine explosions in the Bodhgaya temple complex, in northern Bihar state.

Police described the bombs as low-intensity timed devices. Windows and one door in the complex were damaged.

The Indian government said the blasts were a terror attack. No group has said it was responsible.

Witnesses said some of the bombs exploded close to the Bodhi tree, thought to be a descendant of the one that the Buddha sat under when he achieved enlightenment, according to tradition.

Police said there was no damage to the tree.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the blasts, saying: “Such attacks on religious places will be never be tolerated.”

The Bodhgaya complex is one of the oldest Buddhist sites in India. It was listed as a world heritage site by the United Nations cultural organization- UNESCO in 2002.

BBC says attacks on Buddhists are rare in India, but there have been recent Muslim-Buddhist tensions in nearby Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.



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