At least 13 people have been killed and 81 others injured in three bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai on Wednesday evening in the crowded Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazar areas. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan confirmed that the 13 deaths reported include casualties from all the three locations hit by the blasts.
Union Home Ministry confirmed that the blasts are terror strikes and added that Improvised Explosive Devices were used at all the three locations.
"We have information of three blasts. We have rushed teams of NSG (National Security Guards) and NIA (National Investigating Agency) to Mumbai. One blast has taken place in a Maruti Esteem car and one in a motorcycle," said Union Home Secretary RK Singh said.
The blast at Dadar took place in Kabutar Khana, in the two-storey JK Building at Tata Road No. 1 in Opera House and at Khaul Gali in Zaveri Bazar.
Wednesday blasts took place just two days after the fifth anniversary of the Mumbai serial train blasts on July 11, 2006 in which at least 186 persons were killed.
The blasts took place within minutes of each other with the first being reported at 6:50 PM in south Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar, near the famous Mumbadevi temple, in which some people were injured, said Mumbai Police spokesperson Nisar Tamboli.
The second explosion was reported in a taxi in Dadar area, he said. "We are verifying the nature of explosions. At this moment I cannot say anything more than this," Tamboli said.
According to an eyewitness a fire that broke out in Zaveri Bazar following the blasts has been brought under control.
Police, ambulance, home guards and fire brigade have been rushed to the spot.
A Border Security Force plane has left for Mumbai from New Delhi with NSG personnel, forensic experts and senior NIA officials.
The injured have been rushed to JJ Hospital, GT Hospital, KEM Hospital and St George's Hospital.
Home Minister P Chidambaram has called a high-level meeting in the wake of the blasts.
Security alerts have been issued in all major cities including New Delhi and Kolkata after the blasts in Mumbai.