Blasts at Buddhist sites injure 2 in India

PATNA, India (AP) — A series of small blasts hit three Buddhist temples in eastern India early Sunday, injuring at least two people and drawing condemnation from the prime minister.Senior police officer S.K. Bhardwaj said a gate at one of the shrines was badly damaged in Bodhgaya, a town 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Patna, the capital of Bihar state. No other damage was reported to the Buddhist centers.

Bhardwaj said four blasts took place early Sunday on the campus of the Mahabodhi Temple, the Buddhist Great Awakening temple, and four other explosions were reported at the nearby Karma temple and a shrine with a 180-feet tall Buddhist tower.

There were few people at the popular pilgrimage centers targeted for the first time, said BhardwaPrime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the blasts, saying "such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated."

India's Junior Home Minister R.P.N. Singh said no one claimed responsibility for the explosions, and that an investigation would be carried out to determine who was involved.One Tibetan and one pilgrim from Myanmar received minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, Bhardwaj said.

The Buddhist shrines attract a large number of pilgrims, especially from Japan, Thailand and Myanmar. But the main pilgrimage starts in September.Bhardwaj said there have been intelligence reports about the possibility of attacks on the shrines but he did not give any details.

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